Who Takes Senate Pro-Tempore Seat?

By Mark N. Mengonfia mmengonifia@gmail.com

The debate as to who becomes the next Senate Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate has begun with many persons suggesting names of Lawmakers who they think can better run the affairs of the Senate; a place which is referred to in Liberia as “the House of elders.”

Although Article 47 of the 1986 Constitution states “The senate shall elect every six years a President Pro Tempore who shall preside in the absence of the President of the Senate, and such other officer as shall ensure the proper functioning of the Senate” but names have started emerging to engage in a political battle for the seat of Senate Pro Tempore.

Grand Bassa Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Senators-elect, Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County District one and James Emmanuel Nuquay of Margibi County and Abe Darius Dillon are names which discussions have been centered around in recent days.

Many Liberians have mixed views about who really takes on the position in the Liberian Senate as they do not want anyone who they said will be remote controlled by the ruling establishment [CDC].

The argument ensued following the announcement of results in the just ended Special Senatorial Elections [SSE] across the country which Liberians spoke with a loud voice as it relates to the governance of the nation.

One side of the argument by Liberians is that it will be prudent to allow what they called  ‘forceful and authoritative voice’ to become the next Senate Pro Tempore; while others hold the views that one of the two former Speakers of the House of Representatives [Snowe and Nuquay] should take on the position.

David Johnson, a motorcyclist who transports between ELWA, Red-light and parts of Paynesville said “Edwin Snowe and Emmanuel Nuquay were Speakers during Ma-Ellen time right? I think they know the work good and can do what the Liberian people want and now what President Weah and his CDC lawmakers want.”

In Johnson’s view, one of the two have tasted how it feels to preside over members of the House of Representatives and have the experience of governing their colleagues.

On the other hand, Liberians believe that Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence who is the presumed lone female Senator should serve in the space on grounds that she will know how to balance the discussion as a mother, but others think that if she serves in such position, she will be able to push her agenda and the agenda of women in Liberia.

Women groupings have taken the social media to start an early campaign for the long presumed female lawmaker at the Liberian Senate.

Another name that has surfaced in the discussion of a possible Senate Pro Tempore at the Liberian Senate is Abe Dillon whom others think is the option for the Senate Pro Tempore job.

“For some of us, we are in Monrovia, but we have voices in our villages so we will start lobbying with lawmakers from other counties to ensure that Dillon wins,” Moses Kerkular said.


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