-15 Senators Remain Hopeful; Will It Be A Repeat of 2014 Senatorial Elections? Only December 8, 2020 Will Tell
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
Fifteen of the 30 Liberian Senators will on December 8, 2020 get the outcome of their performance after working for nine unhindered years or less.
Some of them are completing the constitutional tenures of others, but that doesn’t negate performance appraisal from their employers [electorates].
A performance appraisal is a regular review of an employee’s job performance and overall contribution. After spending nine years or less, December 8, 2020 will be the time to review or evaluate their performances as employees based on their achievements and growth and this is crucial as Liberians prepare for the elections.
Senators seeking reelections are: Sando Dazoe Johnson (NPP, Bomi (2011), Henry Willie Yallah, Bong-NDC (2011), Armah Zolu Jallah, Gbarpolu, NPP (2011), Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Grand Bassa, LP (2013), Alphonso G. Gaye, Grand Gedeh, UP (2011), Peter Sonpon Coleman, Grand Kru, CDC (2011), George Tamba Tengbeh, Lofa, UP (2011), Oscar A. Cooper, Margibi, UP (2011), H. Dan Morais, Maryland, NPP (2011), Abraham Darius Dillon, Montserrado, LP (2019), Thomas Semandahn Grupee, Nimba, NUDP (2011), Matthew N. Jaye, RiverGee, Independent (2011), Dallas Advertus V. Gueh, Rivercess, LDP, (2011) J. Milton Teahjay, Sinoe, UP (2015) and Victor Watson of Grand Cape Mount (2019) respectively.
It can be recalled only two of the 15 senators that re-contested in 2014 senatorial elections were reelected by their people.
They include Senators Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba and Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County now Vice President of Liberia.
Some of the senators have repeatedly bragged of being potentially formidable in their respective counties, but political pundits said such formidability will be tested on December 8, 2020 by the Liberian people.
Currently, some of those senators are being challenged by current members of the House of Representatives. They include Representatives Prince Moye of Bong, Julie Fatormah Wiah, Lofa, Jeremiah Kpan Koung, Nimba and Mariamu Fofana, Lofa Counties among others.
There are lots of prestige attached to being a senator in a country like Liberia. Some of them include confirmation of presidential appointees, impeachment trials, with lawmaking, oversight and representation also taking center stage couple with the ‘fabulous salary and benefits’ attached.
Article 29 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution states “The legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature, which shall consist of two separate houses: A senate and a house of representatives, both of which must pass on all legislation. The enacting style shall be: “It is enacted by the Senate and Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature assembled.”
The election was initially scheduled for October 13, 2020, but was rescheduled to take place on December 8, 2020 due to the novel coronavirus crisis in the country.
This was reportedly supported by some senators seeking reelection as they were alleged to be planning to stay longer in power despite their constitutional tenure coming to an end in December 2020.
However, appearing on Okay FM few weeks ago, the former chairman of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Horatio Gould said “if senators want to stay in office beyond 2020, they are day dreaming.”