The outgoing Resident Representative of the Mano River Union (MRU) in Liberia, who won the Montserrado County Electoral District #1 representative seat at the October 10 polls, has joined the race for Speaker of the 54th Legislature.
Prior to winning the representative seat as an independent candidate, Ambassador Lawrence Morris served in the Mano River Union (MRU) office in Liberia for four and a half years, a position he occupies until the body can vet and recruit a new resident representative.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer on Monday, November 27, Amb. Morris said contesting for the Speaker position is to bring “sanity, integrity and morale” to the Legislature.
He argues that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is the Head of the Legislature – and third in ascension to the presidency – should not be a person who is “haunted with bad characters.”
Morris said he was encouraged by Liberians and his fellow colleagues to become the next Speaker, because of his experience, education and impeccable character.
“If the Speaker-ship is something that should be offered by vetting, or if my colleagues should see reason to actually go by a vetting process that could incorporate experience, education and integrity – not having any blemish or stigma – I think that will bring back some kind of sanity to the Legislature,” Amb. Morris said.
“I always say to people that the fixer of our country’s problem should come from the Legislature, because we have the mantle of authority to create checks and balances among the three branches of the government; and so, if you are opting for real change to bring sanity, think about a lawmaker with an impeccable character.
“You need a person with integrity, with good record that will not be haunted while at the helm of the Legislature, so we need people of integrity that would uphold the sanity of the Legislature.
“I am confident of winning the post, but at the same time, the decision to elect a new speaker rests with my colleagues who should think positively if they want to uphold the sanity of the Legislature – that is what we are opting for and therefore we should go in for it.”
Amb. Morris joined the crowded race for the Speaker position, but the Daily Observer gathered that two of the contenders including Representatives Edwin M. Snowe of Bomi County and Thomas Fallah of Montserrado County District #5 have withdrawn their intentions to contest for the post.
Those now in the race are the Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue (Independent – Grand Bassa); Representatives-elect Fonati Koffa (LP – Rivercess), Johnson Gwaikolo (Victory for Change Party – Nimba County), Bhofal Chambers (CDC – Maryland), and Prince Moye (UP – Bong County).