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Motion For Reconciliation Thwarts Yeke’s Suspension

By Bill W. Cooper
The House of Representatives has taken a majority decision to suspend Montserrado County District 10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, for 30 working days for what the body termed as “Deliberately and continuously” insulting the Liberian Presidency.
There were majority votes from 24 persons, seven against and one abstention, plenary took the decision on yesterday during following a motion from Bong County District 5 Rep. Edward W. Karfiah stating, “I move if I can be seconded in line with rule 48.7 that our colleague having being warned and he refused, therefore count 3 of rule 48.7 shall be applied and that Rep. Kolubah be suspended for not more than 30 working days for the purpose of serving as deterrence.”
The decision of the lawmakers to suspend Rep. Kolubah was however triggered by a communication from Montserrado County District 5 Rep. Thomas Fallah in which he craved the indulgence of his colleagues to take legislative action against the Montserrado lawmaker for his continuous insults because as a lawmaker, they should maintain and restore the “sanity and dignity” of the House in keeping with rule 41 of their own rules.
Rep. Fallah, in his communication read in plenary yesterday intoned that his decision to inform colleagues was not intended for political witch-hunt but to call Yekeh to order on grounds that he (Fallah) has on numerous occasions advised him to conduct himself orderly as an honorable man but all efforts proved futile.
He further explained that although Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution gives everyone the right to speak freely but that freedom of speech also comes with responsibility indicating that one of his reliance is also Article 42 which says that lawmakers can be dealt with except for crimes such as felony of the state, treason and breaching of the peace, among others.
Rep. Fallah added, “You have your rights as lawmakers to disagree on policy issues that affect you and your constituents or districts you represent, but not to continue using invectives or insults against the presidency or any other citizens of the country only because you do not agree with them on issues.”
“If we as lawmakers do not do anything about our colleague’s deliberate action, I believe that one day this peace that we all enjoy will somehow be undermined because one day supporters of the President too could get vex and react to Rep. Kolubah and his supporters too will not sit and allow that to happen and at the end of the day, we will see different things in this country,” Fallah justified.
As if the refusal of District 10 lawmaker to comment in his own defense added fuel to the discussion, several of his colleagues including Johnson Gwalkolo, Francis Nyumalin, Samuel Kogar, Moima Briggs Mensah, Moses Acarous Gray, Mathew Zarzar, Rosana Schaack and Frank Saah-Foko all condemned him yet, recommended that he be warned not to repeat said action for the last time.
The lawmakers including George Boley prevailed on plenary to take some punitive action against Yekeh as means of deterrence on grounds that on four separate occasions, they have set-up committees to investigate and advised him to stop the continuous insults but he would not desist.
However, following comments from his colleagues, the suspension of Yekeh was later placed on hold by a motion calling for reconciliation by Montserrado County District 8, Rep. Gray, as if to score political points in the discussion because he was among the 24 lawmakers who had voted earlier for Yekeh to be suspended.
The motion is expected to be tested in 72-hour.

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