-As Sen. Sherman Submits Bill to Restrict Lawmakers
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Senator Albert Chie erred during the Thursday, May 31, 2018 regular session in the plenary of the Senate.
Senate Pro-Tempore, Albert Chie
This occurred when Pro-Temp Chie who is the presiding officer of the Liberian Senate ruled in favor of Margibi County Senator, Oscar Cooper on an order made by him (Sen. Cooper) without any reliance from the senate own standing rules.
It all started when the Secretary of the Liberian Senate was reading a communication from Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman placing some level of restriction on seated lawmakers from contesting another elected national position while still serving as lawmaker, Representative of Senator.
According to Senator Cooper’s order, the secretary should stop reading the communication of the Cape Mount Senator on grounds that it is the right of every Liberian to contest any position at any time, thereby denying Senator Sherman from expressing his opinion in the plenary of the Liberian Senate.
This ruling by Pro-Temp Chie sparks heated debat among Senators which lasted for about five minutes, at which time Pro-Temp Chie then caught himself but could not revert his ruling and noted that the matter would be handled by the leadership of the Liberian Senate.
According to the rules and procedures of the Liberian Senate, the best way to have done such thing could have been through a vote by senators to either send said communication into committee room or being thrown into the dust bin if there is no magnitude in the communication.
Meanwhile, Grand Cape Mounty County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman has submitted a Bill to the plenary of the Liberian Senate to place some level of restrictions on lawmakers from contesting other national election while still serving as lawmakers.
According to Senator Sherman, this Bill when passed into law would help minimize the too many by-elections in the country and help save government some revenues from conducting continuous by-elections.
The Bill which is title “Eligibility of Sitting Senator or Representative for Election to Vacancy within the Senate or the House of Representatives,” when passed would also, according to Senator Sherman would deter people from creating unnecessary by-elections in the country.
The Grand Cape Mount County Senator Bill is coming in the wake of the delay senatorial by-election to be held both in Montserrado and Bong Counties which was occasioned by the current President and Vice President, George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor respectively.
The by-election was delayed because according to the National Elections Commission (NEC) there were no funds to carry out the election process within the statutory constituted period.