-As Pro-Tempore Predicts Gaps In Senate’s Performances, Functions; Due To Mid-term Election
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate says that there would be huge gaps in the workings of the Liberian Senate during this second session of the 54th Legislature.
Speaking during the opening of the second session of the 54th Legislature Monday, January 14, 2019 on Capitol Hill, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie said this would occur as a result of mid-term 2020 senatorial election in the country.
Pro-Temp Chie stated that this year, 2019 would be a very crucial year for some senators, especially those that are seeking re-election, thus, they would focus more within their constituent than in the chambers of the Liberian Senate trying to consolidate their gains ahead of the 2020 mid-term senatorial elections.
“We are beginning this second session of the 54th Legislature and this year, is very crucial for the Senate. It is the year before the 2020 senatorial mid-term elections and is expected to be a busy one for all senators. Senators seeking re-election will spend a great deal of time in the constituencies trying to consolidate the gains they have made over the years,” Pro-Temp Chie said.
The Grand Kru County Senator who is comfortably seated and not seeking re-election noted “undoubtedly this may leave gaps at committee level of the Senate which junior senators are expected to cover, in addition to their own responsibilities.”
The Senate Pro-Tempore asserted that the Liberian Senate would strengthen its oversight responsibilities over the various government’s ministries and agencies through its various committees, noting that last year, many committees relaxed to give head of agencies and ministries who according to him were new at the job to set up and understand their workings.
He furthered that the Liberian Senate believes that most of the heads at these ministries and agencies have had sufficient time to adjust in order to carry out the Liberian people’s business for which they were appointed, adding that the senate committee would vigorously evaluate the performance of these agencies and ministries.
At the same time, the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate has recounted that there were thirty-four (34) Bills passed and the senate during its first session, eighty-three (83) Bills from both the 53rd Legislature and the first session of the 54th Legislature.
“Among the Bills passed last year, are the following: The Land Rights Acts and the Local Government Act,” Pro-Temp Chie recounted.
Meanwhile, Pro-Temp Chie indicated that the Senate has a number of Bills and other instruments which it would consider in the early part of this year’s session to include, the consolidation of holidays in the country, An Act prohibiting the tenure of public officials and the Kamara Abdullah Kamara Act of Press Freedom.