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Tenure bill debate ends in deadlock

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The Chambers of the Liberian Senate became tensed and breathtaking as members of that august body went into a heated and uncontrollable debate over a report from the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Tenure and Autonomous Agencies Bill.

It all started Thursday, 14 February when Presiding Officer, Senate Pro-tempore Albert Chie called for the reading of the Tenure and Autonomous Agencies Bill report for its possible passage.

But senators Conmany Wesseh of River Gee, Oscar Cooper of Margibi, J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe, Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu and Matthew Jay of River Gee Counties could not allow the members of the Judiciary Committee to sail through with their presentation.

Opening the argument, Sinoe County Sen. Milton Teahjay said the report failed to provide the necessary information to inform the Senate.

Teahjay maintains that the committee failed to follow the corridor of open mind of handling the bill and the report did not speak to the unanswered questions.

Also adding his voice to debate, Maryland County Senator Gble-bo Brown says the report is ‘fake’ and that the crafters’ sole intent is to please President George Manneh Weah and [not] for the country’s sake.

Referencing Article 89 of the 1986 Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed in Accra, Ghana, Senator Brown says the establishment of these agencies were called for.

He argues that the call to establish these tenured positions was not former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, as being insinuated by the committee.

Article 89 of the Liberian Constitution mandates the establishment of autonomous public commissions including the the Civil Service Commission; Elections Commission; and General Auditing Commission.

Further Article 89 states that the Legislature shall enact laws for the governance of these Commissions and create other agencies as may be necessary for the effective operation of Government.

Due to the continuous building of tensions among senators, presiding officer, Senator Peter Coleman who had taken over from the Pro – Tempore Chie, cut the debate and granted a motion that the debate be continued next Tuesday, 19 February.
By Ethel A. Tweh –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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