Vote Of No Confidence: Would The President Comply?

Jewel Nimely, a Liberian in the Diaspora says Liberian politics has been one of interest since 2006. “When I reflect on the seventies, eighties and nineties, I recognized that political transformation has taken place in Liberia with democracy taken such formidable root that a citizen of lower level placement in Government could petition the Liberian Senate for redress of grievance and leading to a vote of no confidence in the most powerful city mayor Liberia has ever produced.”

The sentiment of Jewel is no different from so many Liberians; though there are diverse views on the Mary Broh’s case. Some citizens believe the City Mayor has done so much to redeem Monrovia’s lost pride and as such, the Liberian Senate should have been at least considerate. Others believe the Senate acted unconstitutionally by investigating a matter that is between two non-lawmakers that have already been taken to the court of law.

Many others hold that the Senate acted properly as it has the constitutional mandate of oversight and as such, any official of government found to be in violation and/or breach of their terms of references or engaging in contemptible acts could be summoned by the Senate or House of Representatives to show cause. There are yet others who claimed that the City Mayor has become so powerful to the extent of placing the Liberian Senate in subordination by her refusal to appear before the August Body.

A highly placed source said that Mary Broh could have been let off the hook and the matter settled if an alleged intervention by the President of Liberia to broker peace between she and Miss Nancy Gaye was accepted by her. Unfortunately, according to the source, the City Mayor relied on other interventions and influences rather than the plea of the President.

Another source preferring anonymity wondered why would the perpetrator of an act rushed to court instead of the aggrieved. In his opinion, this was to pervert justice through the ring of power and victimized the aggrieved. He claimed the move of the Senate was necessary to avoid the pollution of the justice system of Liberia which would have brought the government into international disrepute. The best option, he said was for the City Mayor was to appear before the Liberian Senate in a respectful manner and offer public apology in the best interest of the City. Had this been done, the August Body would not have taken extreme decisions.

The energetic Mayor of Monrovia is known for her dedication and commitment to a clean, orderly and healthy environment. Her zeal to transform Monrovia has earned her a lot of friends and enemies at the same time. Since her rejection by the Liberian Senate, she has acted for well over three years and has taken decisions that no city mayor has ever taken. From unemployment of city youths to employment and from an odor stricken post war Monrovia to one that releases pleasant air to breathe, Mary Broh has captivated the President and has received enormous international patronage and was now set to begin the herculean task of cleaning the Mesurado River which has become a health hazard before the dark Friday of May 25, 2012 and the Senate vote of no confidence of June 6 2012.

In political corridors, there are questions and discussions on whether or not the vote of no confidence would be respected or implemented by the President. Monrovia has become the land of the stubborn which requires a strong City Mayor. Who would replace Mary Broh? Who has the strength and courage to stand under adversities that the office of City Mayor requires? Can the President overturn or dismiss the Senate Vote of No Confidence? What would be the repercussions?

Constitutional experts say non-compliance by the President could result into strain relations and could jeopardize her legislative agenda. Further, the Senate and to an extent, the Legislature could put a freeze on all appropriations intended for the City of Monrovia. This could include certain levies such as car parking fees and others imposed by the City Corporation. Monrovia could then come to a standstill and Madam Broh would be compelled under these circumstances to resign.

The Senate decision, which was unanimous, could have been appealed to by a motion for reconsideration. During such proceeding, negotiations and interventions could have overturned the Senate decision through a democratic process. Such motion, according to a Senior Senator was never made. However, according to him, the President is the Chief Executive and reserves the right to reject the Senate’s decision or make interventions.

Observers believe the President of Liberia is one who believes in the fundamental rights of all Liberian citizens and the constitutional rights of other branches of the Liberian Government and as such, she would be very careful in decisions she take to avoid a dangerous precedent and bringing the Liberian Senate to national and international ridicule.

Lawyers of Madam Broh insist that the appearance of their client before the Senate would undermine the functions of the judiciary Branch of Government which has docketed the case for hearing. Under the principles of the separation of powers, the Liberian Constitution maintains that no branch of government can exercise the functions and duties of the others. They believe the Senate’s action to cite Madam Broh contravened that organic principle.

On the other hand, Senate sources indicated that though Madam Broh filed a suit against Miss Nancy Gaye, yet unfortunately, Miss Gaye received no citation or writ to indicate a judicial hearing. Thus, the Senate contravenes no principle in the separation of power. In light thereof, the Senate acted rightly.

What has become of the matter since indeed the Senate has cast a vote of no confidence? Analysts claimed that Madam Broh’s suit against Miss Gaye had fundamental interpretations. According to them, the action of the perpetrator against the aggrieved was to thwart Miss Gaye’s hope of Senate intervention since matters in court cannot be heard by the Legislature. If Miss Gaye had received the writ and the case assigned, the Senate would have been constitutionally powerless to summon the City Mayor.

There are many factors playing into Nancy Gaye and Mary Broh scenario. There seems to have been so many leakages of sensitive information from both sides. The Mayor’s office is said to be investigating leakages in strategies and may be dismissing important staff members. There is an alleged fear of witch hunt, accusations and counter-accusations combined with a possible outbreak of deep anger the Mayor is said to be containing. Was she betrayed or did she not take precautions on who she met with and where? Whatever it is, all eyes and ears are directed to the seat of the Presidency for the outcome of this explosive political matter. After Mary Broh, would Monrovia be the same or drastically changed for better or worse?

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