One of the suspended senators of former ruling Unity Party (UP), Grand Gedeh County Sen. Alphonso Gaye says as far as he is concerned, the UP has not taken any action against him yet because he was not briefed or invited by UP executive committee before being suspended.
Speaking to the NewDawn newspaper via mobile phone Wednesday, 3 April, Sen. Gaye brands his suspension by the UP as a “mere talk-show suspension” on grounds that he only hears about it on talk show.
“How possible will that be that a political party with high level of understandings and high level of respect from both locally and internationally will suspend me or anyone without the person being in the know? That’s unbelievable. It is not you that should tell me about my suspension neither talk-show hosts,” Sen. Gaye tells our staff in the interview.
Gaye’s comment comes after the National Executive Committee of UP voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday, 2 April in a well-attended meeting held at the National Headquarters in Congo Town to suspend all eight of its senators.
The party’s decision is in protest against the impeachment from the Supreme Court of Liberia of former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh by lawmakers, in spite of some opposition parties and lawyers’ suggestion that the process was done unconstitutionally.
UP has suspended the membership of its eight Senators in persons of Cllr. Varney H. Sherman, (Cape Mount); Edward B. Dagoseh, (Cape Mount); Morris Saytumah, (Bomi); George Tengbeh, (Lofa); Thomas Grupee, (Nimba); Alphonso Gaye, (Grand Gedeh); Matthew Jaye, (Reiver Gee) and Milton Teahjay, (Sinoe).
Other opposition parties are taking similar action against their senators following Ja’neh’s controversial impeachment for allegedly blocking government access to collect a road funds taxed against oil and gas companies here because he says the tax had not been legislated.
Sen. Gaye has been a strong member of the Unity Party since 2008. He argues that as far as he is concerned, the Unity Party has not taken any action against him.
“I should be briefed dully about my wrongdoings before action can be taken by the executive committee of our party. But for people to issue press statement and talk show hosts discussing it, it tells me that it is just a rumor,” Sen. Gaye asserts.
“I have a well organized and functional office at the Capitol Building and my residence is also structured in a way that communication intended for me will reach me timely. But nothing relating to my suspension has reached me. It’s talk-show suspension that’s all I can say,” Sen. Gaye says.He emphasizes that the suspension is not to his knowledge, describing the action of the UP as appalling.
He notes that the UP is a formally organized, intellectually originated, duly registered political party under the laws of the land, and the least he expects is to see such appalling action coming from the party’s executive committee members without the knowledge of the affected person.
According to UP’s press statement, the party expressed grave concerns and disappointment over last Thursday’s wrongful and politically motivated action to impeach Associate Justice Ja’neh from the Supreme Court.The party says it is worried about the fate of calls for electoral reforms in the wake of alleged interference with the independence of the Judiciary.
The UP statement under the signature of Mohammed Ali, the National Assistant Secretary General for Press, Publicity and Outreach says the party is aware of the concerns of its members and Liberians at large about the deteriorating governance situation here.
The party claims that the deteriorating governance system has been exacerbated by the compromise of the Judiciary Branch of government as witnessed in the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh.
Unity Party says the impeachment of Associate Justice Ja’neh was unconstitutional and it communicated with all of its senators to vote against such impeachment.
The party believes that impeaching former Justice Ja’neh in the way the Senators did was only intended to undermine the democracy and strengthen the alleged dictatorship that President George Manneh Weah is practicing.
The party warns that this attempt to control the Judiciary is also an attempt to cheat in future elections as the confidence to take such cases to court would have already been eroded.
The party calls on all the suspended senators to yield to an investigation to be conducted by the UP.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor
–Edited by Winston W. Parley