Liberian Senate Divided Over Conduct of Pro-Tempore Election

The Liberian Senate is divided over calls for the body to conduct elections for the President Pro-Tempore and other vacancies on Thursday, January 22.  In a communication earlier, Senators Henry Yallah and Peter Coleman of Bong and Grand Kru counties respectively expressed concern about the vacuum created by the results of the December 20 Mid-term Senatorial Elections.
However, upon the reading of the communication dated January 19 by the secretary of the senate, some senators opted for prompt elections, while others urged the body to seek legal advice from the Senate’s counsel Jonathan Williams.
The December 20 Mid-term Senatorial Elections saw the defeat of former Pro-tempore Gbehzongar Findley, Chairpersons on Executive, Clarice Jah; Rules, Order and Administration, Lahai Lansanah and Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Sumo Kupee.
The senators argued that if there is no President Pro-tempore before the President addresses the nation on Monday, the situation would be unprecedented in the history of the Liberian Senate, while others indicated that the elections could be held anytime within 30 working days.
However, the body’s legal counsel has clarified that the President may deliver her annual message without a seated Pro-tempore, but must have a settled Speaker who will preside on behalf of the joint houses in the joint chambers.
Amidst heated debate, the President of the Senate, Vice President Joseph Boakai tabled further decisions on the elections until Thursday, January 22.

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