Sen. Cooper Wants Senate Conform To OGP

-Writes Plenary To Reinstate Automated Voting Machine

In an effort to conform to Open Government Partnership (OGP), by ensuring openness in their legislative dealings, Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County has written the plenary of the Liberian Senate to begin using automated voting machine.

According to the lawmaker, this will ensure more transparency by enabling the Liberian people to be informed of what they vote for and how they vote.

The Margibi County lawmaker reminded his colleagues that Liberia is in the process of developing and co-creating the Open Government Partnership (OGP) 4th National Action Plan (NAP) to be implemented over the next two years.

“Consistent with this, I concur with the proposal of the OGP to roll-over of our commitment from the third OGP National Action Plan, especially deliverable two to provide analysis on the progress of bills, sponsor of each bill and who has voted for each,” Senator said in his communication.

Senator Cooper maintains that this is very necessary because the commitment in the OGP National Action Plan is as yet relevant and incomplete.

The OGP is a multilateral voluntary partnership that countries decide to join and through which civil society organizations and government can advance initiatives consistent with reform agenda that aims at deepening and guaranteeing transparency, accountability which are triggers of their support.

“In this regard, our voting in such manner as proposed will prove to our partners that this branch of the Liberian Government is open, transparent and accountable more than ever before.  Therefore, I kindly request that we reinstate the vote machine for transparency and accountability,” Senator added.

After the reading, the communication was opened for deliberations by members of the Liberian Senate in session on Tuesday February 18, 2020.  Senator Cooper received overwhelming supports from his colleagues as they deliberated the communications.

Senator Darius Dillon of Montserrado County said “This is something that is needed here to ensure accountability and transparency. We need this technology because even the website of the Liberian Senate is either dead or inactive.”

For his part, Senator Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County added that the machine system will be very good because the “yea-Nea” type of voting is totally depriving the right decision. He said “the yea-nea should be removed from the rules of the Liberian Senate. Most often votes are corrupt here because the yea-nea is being badly used and decisions are not made properly.”

Other senators including Prince Yormie Johnson, Thomas Grupee of Nimba County, Augustine Chea of Sinoe County all lauded Senator Cooper for the communication.

After deliberations, a  motion was raised by Senator SandoDazoe Johnson of Bomi County for the communication to be forwarded to the committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Rules, Orders and administration to advised the senate and ensure the restoration of Senators’ Desk microphones, website are added to the automated voting machine at the Liberian Senate.

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