Former Minister of Finance and Gbarpolu County Senator-elect, Amara Mohammed Konneh has lavished praises on Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence with the newly elected Senator among others making public his admiration for the female lawmaker.
Konneh won the Senatorial Election in Gbarpolu County during the country’s recently concluded presidential and legislative elections on 10 October, obtaining 11,651 votes out of a total of combined valid and invalid votes amounting to 39,675.
He specifically recalled Karnga-Lawrence’s decision to have voted against a decision of majority members of the Liberian Senate ordering his incarceration at the infamous Monrovia Central Prison notorious for being unsanitary and operating below internationally acceptable standards, especially being a facility that is largely inmate-unfriendly, as far as care-giving is concerned.
The former Minister of Finance recounted that when a majority of the senators in the 53rd Legislature voted to send him to jail for proposing budget cuts to fund schools and subsidize hospitals and clinics to provide healthcare when the deadly Ebola virus ravaged the country and claimed lives of Liberians in 2013-2014, while schools struggled to reopen, it was Senator Karnga-Lawrence along with two of her male colleagues who voted against such decision.
“The Supreme Court intervened, saving me from going to jail,” noted Konneh, who emphasized that he’s eternally grateful to Karnga-Lawrence and the two others he named as outgoing Senators Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County and G. Alphonso Gaye of Grand Gedeh, who both were ousted from the Legislature as per results of the just-ended elections.
Konneh made these assertions following his last Wednesday’s visitation at the Bushrod Island residence of Karnga-Lawrence, describing his early morning visit with the Bassa lawmaker, as “Courage Under Fire.”
Meanwhile, the Gbarpolu County Senator-elect has disclosed that he looks forward to having cordial working relations with Grand Bassa County’s Karnga-Lawrence in the House of Senate.
When Smart News Liberia (SNL) gauged the views of multiple political pundits on Konneh’s expression of gratitude to Karnga-Lawrence and his disclosure of looking forward to cordially working with her in the Senate, they opined that this signals good news for the Senate’s opposition bloc, of which the Bassa lawmaker is an astute opinion leader.
Konneh won a large chunk of the votes in the 10 October senatorial election in Gbarpolu, accumulating 31.13% of the votes ahead of his closest revival, ruling party candidate Alfred Koiwood, who garnered 24.85% of the votes, a result which the pundits claim the newly elected senator would use as leverage to form alliances and forge consensus-building at the Legislature, and that with Karnga-Lawrence already in the good books of the newly elected lawmaker, this would mean in times of critical legislative decision-making at the Capitol Building, especially with legislative politics being a game of the majority, the former Minister of Finance who contested as an independent candidate, may in the interest of the nation, lean more on the side of the opposition bloc, should incumbent President George Weah of the ruling CDC win the main opposition UP candidate Joseph Boakai in the impending presidential runoff election slated for 14 November.
The pundits also noted that should the presidential runoff contest go the way of the Unity Party and the former ruling party regain state power, with the strong bond already existing between Konneh and Karnga-Lawrence, he is highly likely to toil the line of the governing party – the UP, of which Karnga-Lawrence is the lead campaigner to oust the CDC from power.