Election of President Pro Tempore – What Say Senate Rules?

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Senate President Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah.

Rule 14, Section 1 of the Senate Rules states that following general and presidential elections, the Secretary of the Senate (on the first day of regular session) is to call the Senate to order, conduct devotions and announce to all present the vacancy for a President Pro Tempore of the Senate, who shall be elected for a six year term.

According to the rules, the election of President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall take place on a simple majority basis by all duly seated Senators. The Secretary of the Senate shall then announce the winner of the election and subsequently administer the oath of office to the newly elected President Pro Tempore and appoint a special committee to escort the Pro Tempore to his/her seat.

In accordance with the rule quoted above, it is expected that a vacancy for Pro Tempore will be announced.

With that development, two questions then come to mind, namely: was Senator Armah Zolu Jallah (current Gbarpolu County Senator) elected as President Pro Tempore (2015) to complete the unexpired term of another Pro Temp, or was he elected to serve a six-year term?

If Senator Jallah was elected to complete the unexpired term of another person, who then was that person? Is a Senator elected to serve six years when he/she has less than six years to serve prior to a scheduled senatorial election?

Grand Bassa Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley was elected Pro Tempore in 2012, and had only three years to the 2014 scheduled senatorial election; was he elected to serve the Senate as President Pro Temp for a six-year term, or for the three years he had left to serve?

Did the Senate know that Findley could have won his re-election bid? If so, is there a provision in the Senate Rules that an elected officer (if he/she emerges victorious in a re-election) can return and continue his/her elected position unchallenged?

With these narrations, the question that finally comes to mind is whether the Senate is going to hold an election for a Pro Temp, to either re-elect or replace Senator Jallah, since he has six years in his favor beginning with his election (February 2015 through 2021)?

If one’s understanding diametrically and conveniently concurs with the true and fair interpretation of Senate Rule #14, then a Senator must have an unexpired period of six years or more at the Senate to qualify to contest and be elected to the position of President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is on the basis of an individual’s election by the people of his or her county that sits such lawmaker to the legislature. If the general election for senator did not vote you out of office, and you were elected by senate rules to serve a position within the confines of the Senate, as in the case President pro tempore, you are at privilege to serve this house. But must have been already elected by your people, with the time and framework of the position under rules at the capitol Building of the county you serve. In other words, your county election takes precedence, since naturally another legislator is elected to replace you at the senate if you were voted out, for example, as Grand Bassa’s last Prez pro temp. Doubts to term of a siting senator as to his or her election within the county they serve could introduce a rule to election depending on the time left to county service. However, once the people of your county vote you out of office, you have no service to render to the Liberian legislature as lawmaker of the Liberian nation. Ask the Liberian people. Do not reply this Box.
    Gone to silence

  2. We hope the 54th legislature will be able to sifter some of these decrees brought in during tyranny, military coding, and corrupt concessions so as to reset the rules laid to legislation by our forefathers, chiefs, elders and founders. Voting them in and out will solve such aggression when making the Liberian people laws. We will have a smooth and peaceful inauguration. We look forward to the next speaker of the house who should speak for the people of Liberia. The nation will know. Do not answer my box.
    Gone to Silent majority.

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