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Senate Announces Major Reforms

By Alex Yomah
Senate Pro-temp Albert Chie, has announced major reforms at the Liberian Senate.
Making the pronouncement at the opening of the 5th session of the 54th Legislature yesterday, Chie disclosed that the reforms take immediate effect.
Pro-temp Chie said there will be absolutely nothing called Executive Session or secret sessions at the Liberian Senate during the 5th Session.
Executive session is where major decisions are taken including voting for confirmations, passage of major legislations among other major decisions that border on the future of the county negatively or positively.
Chie added that there would be no more invitation to concessionaires to appear before full plenary session, rather, the Senate will now channel its oversight power through government’s Ministries and agencies with direct oversight roles.
The professor noted that there would be an improvement in individual Senator’s voting process and it is intended to ensure total accountability and transparency adding, “No more voting by hand and no yea or nay anymore. All Senators will now vote by roll call.”
Pro-temp further mentioned that an amendment is expected to be made shortly in the Senate’s rules in order to allow confirmations be done in an open session.
On this, the Grand Kru County Senator said decisions to confirm public officials in executive session by the Senate is requested by the Senate’s standing rules, and to annul said proceeding, there should be an amendment to eschew violation of their own rules.
However, he confirmed that Senators have resolved to amend their rules to allow confirmation be carried out in an open session.
Meanwhile, the Pro-temp Chie has underscored the need for the Senate to look at the issues of security, electricity, especially its distribution, and the perennial problems in the education and health sectors.
Albert Chie further stated that the Banking and Currency Committee at the Liberian Senate will monitor the infusion of the new family of Liberian banknotes authorized for printing and the concomitant withdrawal and replacement of all the old currency by the Central Bank of Liberia.
“The net effect of this infusion and replacement on the liquidity positions of the commercial banks, on the purchasing power of Liberians and on the confidence in the ban k sector will also be analyzed,” he said.
According to Pro-temp Chie, as legislative and presidential elections will be next year, the Senate will look at proposed amendments to the elections law and prepare to submit several proposed amendments of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia to a national referendum during the 2023 elections.

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