Protemp Chie said, while members of that august body have different political orientations and beliefs, owing to the fact that they belong to different ideological and political groupings, diverse constituencies and interest, it is unlikely to agree in totality; however, there is a need for tolerance for the betterment of legislative duty and Liberia’s growth.
The Senate Pro-Tempore made these comments Monday, January 13, 2020 at the opening of the third session of the 54th Legislature.
“We had nice times and sometimes rough times, especially during Executive Sessions. This is all part of normal Legislative twists and turns, and we are far above the acrimonious settings in many parliaments around the world. It is relatively peaceful in our chambers and I ask all Senators to let go the brief teeth and tongue moments,” said the Protempore.
Speaking further, the Grand Kru County lawmaker stressed theneed for clarification and simplicity on key constitutional issues as the Senate resumes official duty.
According to him, issues such as freedom of peaceful assembly as it relates to rights to demonstrate, protest, petitioning of the government and concomitant freedom of movement of other citizens need to be explained or further clarified.
He also named the election and tenure of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and other officers, printing of currency, the code of conduct, tenure in the Executive Branch of government and rights of Legislature to adjust key dates indicated in the constitution as other serious constitutional issues that need explanation and simplification.
He said the Senate in this session is expected to complete action on the letter from President George Manneh Weah seeking Senate’s advice on the impletion of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), noting that the leadership of the Upper House has been working on this document during the few months of recess and will shortly submit a report to Plenary.
Plenary is the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate.
Pro-Temp Chief also disclosed that the Liberian Senate will also complete the review of the Standing Rules of the Liberian Senate and other instruments.
“As I conclude, my distinguished colleagues, I challenge you to exercise your oversight responsibilities over the other two branches of government meticulously and diligently. It is not enough to complain on the Senate floor or over the radio or metamorphose the Plenary into a working committee of the whole,” Pro-Temp Chie asserted.
He then lauded the other two branches of the Liberian government for the high level of cordiality and cooperation in spite of the growing challenges.
Meanwhile, resumption of official duty of the Liberian Legislature on the second Monday in January of each year is triggered by Article 32 (a) of the Liberian Constitution-the organic law of the country.
Article 32 (a) of the Liberian Constitution states that: The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the secondworking Monday in January.