Proposition from Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. Varney Sherman of the opposition, for accommodation in the Liberian Senate a defeated presidential candidate, who receives second highest votes in a presidential election, as “Senator of the Republic” is not only being selfish, economically insensitive, but it is also politically unwise.
Senator Sherman is a renowned Liberian lawyer, who owns a very successful private law firm in Monrovia that could accommodate any defeated presidential candidate, for the sake of accommodation, if that is what he’s interested in.
But to hide under so-called “inclusivity” in proposing such an arrangement that could further place more financial burden on the country’s already overstretched wage bill does not benefit ordinary Liberians except the would-be defeated presidential candidate; not even partisans of his party.
The presidency of Liberia comes with huge responsibilities; it is no child’s play or a cheap office that a candidate vying for this office, and got defeated at the ballot box should be rewarded with a seat in the Senate, as the former ruling Unity Party lawmaker wants Liberians to do.
Where then is the competition for the highest office in the land when candidate with the second highest total votes in an election is automatically accorded red carpet to the first branch of government?
It is nothing but share heartlessness that in the midst of unbearable economic constrains characterized by sky-rocketing exchange rate and swelling prices, lawmakers on Capitol Hill would rather than finding ways to alleviating the suffering of the masses, dream of imposing more hardship, as Senator Sherman and his Judiciary Committee are proposing.
We absolutely concur with Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah when he says a loser from a presidential race should remain a loser rather than be accommodated with a senatorial seat. Any such defeated presidential candidate that would allow himself to be demoted to that level will only be proving to the Liberian people that he is a mere hustler, as he never had any real plan for the presidency in the first.
A serious candidate for the presidency is head of a government in waiting. He or she should understand that a defeat at the poll, only provides an opportunity to, while waiting for the next electoral year, carry out adequate preparation for the office being aspired for, not to abandon his dream and settle down for less.
Instead of advocating for defeated presidential candidates, we call on Sen. Sherman and the Judiciary Committee that he heads, to critically but legally tackle problems that are affecting citizens’ lives such as poorly negotiated concession agreements that deprive them social benefits; confirming round pegs in square holes for public offices that they are unqualified for, increasing and approving budgetary allotments for ministries and agencies that officials cannot defend, among others. That’s the real work of check and balance as a lawmaker.
Members of the Senate would do well for the Liberian people by thrashing Senator Sherman’s proposal into the dustbin in order to keep focus on serious matters of state, for which that august body exists rather than pushing selfish agenda.