The leadership of the House of Representatives is well placed now in the hands of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) with the election of Grand Kru County District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa as Deputy Speaker.
Bhofal Chambers, a staunch member of the ruling party and die-hard loyalist of President Weah, remains the Speaker.
Rep. Koffa went into the contest with Rep. Clarance Massaqoui of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and, in the election, Koffa won with 45 votes against Massaquoi, who obtained 20.
During the election, a total of sixty-eight (68) ballots out of the total House Membership of seventy-three (73) were cast. Three absences were recorded with two deceased who are yet to be replaced.
Upon claiming victory, Representative Koffa lauded supporters for the confidence reposed in him to be elected as Deputy Speaker.
He called on members of the House of Representative to get back to do the work of the people by enacting laws that will see the prosperity of Liberia. He declared that it is an honor to serve the Liberian people and he is up and ready to perform the task.
The Deputy Speaker is next to the House Speaker. He presides over the lawmakers in session only when the Speaker delegates the responsibility to him when he (Speaker) is absent or by discretion asks him to preside. The Deputy Speaker is also an ex-officio to all committees in the House of Representatives.
Prior to the election marked by in-house consultations among lawmakers, supporters of the newly elected Deputy Speaker had reasoned that their candidate possesses the credentials, temperament and personality, humility and accessibility with high degree of courtesy for his colleagues and legislative staffers regardless of political or social background.
They noted that Koffa’s human relation and peaceful nature with all in the House of Representatives earned him the favor and confidence among his colleagues and staffers.
Even though supporters praise the Grand Kru lawmaker a lot for his positive attributes, some political pundits believe that with his generosity most of the supporters can be assured that Koffa can reciprocate the support down the road, especially during the pending legislative election in 2023.
The ascension of Representative Koffa also compounded the concentration of power, via the leaderships of the executive and legislative branches of government, in the south-eastern region, especially Grand Kru and Maryland Counties from where the President, Senate Pro-Tempore, and the Speaker hail. Dan Saryee, Chairman of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and equally a south-easterner, had registered his disdain for concentration of power in one region and said it does not support good governance that calls for equal representation in governance and decentralization.
Other views suggest that it does not matter where a competent person who up for the task is from, but how well he does the work he is elected to do.