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Legislators Resume Today …House To Elect Dep. Speaker Tomorrow

By Alex Yomah
In compliance with Article 32 (a) of the Liberian 1986 Constitution, the Legislature will on today, same being the second working Monday in January, resume legislative duties following an annual constituency break.
The legislative break among other things, witnessed the conduct of the special senatorial election alongside the bi-election in Sinoe and Montserrado Counties as well as the holding of the National Referendum.
Article 32(a) states, “The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.”
In a released issued by the House’s Press and Public Affairs Bureau Director, Nelson Director, among other things, states that the lawmakers will assemble at the entrance of the Capitol Building at about 8 A.M. to officially open for the 4th session of the 54th Legislature.
The lawmaker will assemble at the ground stand for the hoisting of their counties’ flags followed by a joint indoor program in the chambers of the House of Representatives which is expected to be graced today by President George Weah and members of other branches of government as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and among other dignitaries.
There are credible information that immediately the lawmakers resume, the debate for the election of a deputy speaker will take place on Tuesday, January 12 in the plenary of the House of Representatives.
Information coming out of the ensuing consultations for the deputy speaker position, sources are confident that it rather becoming a two-horse race unlike the initial flood-gate of candidates based on the resolutions among parties as to who should contest.
It is becoming no secret that the Grand Kru Representative Fonati Koffa with support from ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and Unity Party’s Lofa County Representative Clarence Massaquoi, a consensus candidate of the Collaborating Political Party are the two lawmakers that might make it to the election.
Rep. Cryton Duncan of Sinoe County, another CDC lawmaker according to report, seems not to be bowing to the pressures of the happenings in the corridors of the Capitol while Bong County female Representative, Moima Briggs Mensah, another tough-talking candidate for the deputy speaker position has also not adhered to calls to bow in the male dominant race.
As it stands and looks, with the prevailing cash being pumped into the process, there is a likelihood that Rep. Koffa might be in a commanding lead considering the presence of 36 lawmakers in attendance at his strategic meeting on Saturday while many others thinks Rep. Massaquoi could be a better candidate if he will be a bit more flexible in dispensing cash for equal distribution among his colleagues.
Our reporter observes that some lawmakers are beginning to realize that the deputy speaker’s election will not be conducted on party line, rather it will be about whom they believe will help them implement projects in their respective districts.
Meanwhile, according to the Liberian Senate itinerary regarding its opening ceremony, the five certificated senators-elect will arrive at the entrance of the Senate chambers and present their certificates of election and credentials to the secretary of the Senate.
The secretary will then present the documents to the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration in accordance with Rule 1 Section 1 of the adopted standing rules; interestingly, one of the senators-elect is the chairperson of the same committee.
The senators-elect will then join their colleagues in the Rotunda for the joint indoor program and on Tuesday, January 11, the five senators-elect will be inducted in the senate chambers and all 20 senators will together begin the regular business of the day.

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