Grand Bassa County District #1 Representative and outgoing Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hans Barchue, has declared his intention to contest for the position of Speaker of the 54th Legislature.
Barchue declared his intentions to enter the race for Speaker over the weekend in Monrovia in the presence of 23 representatives-elect.
The 54th Legislature is expected to hold elections on Monday, January 15 to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
“After consulting with several of my colleagues and getting their permission, I hereby declare my intention to the Liberian people to contest for Speaker of the 54th Legislature,” he said.
The people of Liberia have made the decision in electing their representatives, a president and vice president to direct the affairs of the country.
“We, therefore, pledge our support to ensure that the people of Liberia leave from poverty to prosperity. We are charged with a great responsibility, because the expectations of the Liberian people are very high and they expect us to live up to those expectations,” Barchue told his colleagues.
According to him, having a robust legislature will help the president and vice president-elect to make decisions in the interest of the Liberian people, which has already been expressed by Senator Weah.
He said reform at the Capitol Building remains key to achieving many of the goals of the Legislature.
“We intend to bring reforms at the Legislature that will meet the aspirations of the Liberian people. If we say other institutions should be audited, we must also be audited, which is one of the bedrocks of our reform,” he said.
“Legislators have difficulties, especially going to their various districts to make sure that they know the issues on the ground. When a lawmaker is elected, he comes to Monrovia and remains there up to September at which time the rains are here, particularly those from the southeast who have to remain in Monrovia up to December. This hampers many of them from going back to understand the various problems within their districts and how to address them.”
Barchue noted that those circumstances were responsible for many of the lawmakers not being seen in their various districts, and are therefore unable to address the lack of development. He said he intends to address such a problem during the reform process.
According to Barchue, the problem will be solved through alternative legislative breaks, which will allow every lawmaker to visit or go back to his or her district after three months to understand the problems on hand and find solutions.
“We will ensure that they are given the necessary facility to reach out to their people and make those visits possible.
The Constitution says there are three separate but equal branches of government and we intend to uphold this principle, because the budget is divided so that everybody can be independent, yet we must coordinate,” he said.
Barchue said he will ensure that the legislature works strongly with the executive, but still maintains its independence. He lauded Liberians for reposing confidence in them for another six years.
Rep. Barchue is a former teacher and a trained financial manager, auditor, analyst, and financial planner. He served as controller of the National Security Agency (NSA), Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Planning, and Economic Affairs.
He was designated representative of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs to the National Budget and Cash Management Committee, where he is said to have brought improvements to the fiscal policy management of government.
He holds a B.Sc (in 1985) from the University of Liberia.