-As Some Senators Remain Unsure On Concurrence
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
It still remains unclear whether or not the Liberian Senate is sincere in its position on the ongoing impeachment process initiated by the House of Representatives, as many Senators seem not to be in favor of such move by their counterpart.
Many would think that the current position by many senators and the Liberian Senate at large could mean that this is a clever attempt by the Senate to buy public sentiments or to negotiate with the forces behind the impeachment deal.
The plenary of the Liberian Senate went into total disarray on Thursday, August 30, 2018 when the Bill of impeachment was read in its plenary.
They argued that the Bill falls short of the laid down rules and regulations of the legislature and the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
It all started when Assistant Secretary of the Liberian Senate read the Bill of impeachment sent to that august body by the House of Representatives which followed a motion by Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence that the Bill be turned over to the leadership for proper handling.
Upon Senator Lawrence’s motion, Gbarpolu County Senator, Daniel Naatehn stated that the rules of the Liberian Senate were never adhered to by the House of Representatives in presenting the Bill of impeachment to the Senate citing rule 63 section 1 of the Liberian Senate rules.
According to rule 63 section 1 of the Liberian Senate, “Whenever the Senate receives notice from the House of Representatives that managers are appointed on their part to conduct an impeachment against any person and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate shall immediately inform the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to receive the Managers for the purpose of exhibiting such articles of impeachment agreeable to such notice,” something the plenary of the Liberian Senate believes was never adhered to by the House of Representatives.
Also, Senator Conmany Wesseh cited Article 43 of the Liberian constitution which states among other things that “The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law,” this too members of the Liberian Senate believe was never met by the House of Representatives.
At the same time, there were cross views by senators on the floor of the plenary of the Liberian Senate regarding the entire impeachment process, like “we are not in favor of such thing and it has the propensity to derail our peace.”
Others said so far as we are concern there is no impeachment Bill before us because it does not meet the constitution requirement and our own standing rules while, others said let the Bill come before the plenary of the Senate so that this Bill can be defeated through a head count vote and not a yea/nay vote, because according to them, this action by their colleagues is not in the best interest of the country.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Liberian Senate has taken seize of the matter and report back to the full plenary of the Senate for further action on the matter.