House Aims to be “People-centered”

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Deputy House Speaker Prince Moye says the House of Representatives is undergoing a re-branding process to make it more people-centered and transparent.

He added that the re-branding project, which is a crucial part of the Legislative Agenda of the 54th Legislature, is geared towards building public trust and transparency.

“The process will mandate all lawmakers to constructively engage their constituents and always to get their views before the passage of a bill.  This is necessary to get the people involved in the decision-making process of their country, which was not happening before. We are employed by the people, so they should have a say in every bill passed.

“Also, we will ensure that participants have access to legislative information, attend committees’ hearing and work with them to draft legislations,” Deputy Speaker Moye said.

He made the disclosure when he served as a guest speaker at the second Youth Legislative Policy Dialogue (YLPD) last week under the theme: “Making the Legislature More People-Centered” at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Hall, under the sponsorship of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development.

The YLDP is designed to improve young people’s understanding on the workings of the Liberian legislature, advance the culture of legislative openness and empower young people to ensure effective legislative monitoring and advocacy.

The event brought together 50 youth and student leaders from across five counties, including Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong and Nimba, representing the Young Political Leadership School, Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, Young African Leaders Initiative-Liberia Chapter, Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).

 Deputy Speaker Moye added that the re-branding will also include putting committee hearing reports in the public domain. “The time for people to say we are not working is over. We are working but since the necessary information has not been made available, people have no choice but to believe in the speculation that others are not working,” he added.

“We know that the dissemination of complete legislative information promotes transparency, so we will do all we can to keep the public informed,” he noted.

In a brief remark, NAYMOTE’s Executive Director Eddie Jarwolo said the institution is building improved legislative and youth engagements, realizing that the legislature has constitutional responsibilities to enact legislation, represent citizens’ interests and oversee executive policy implementation.

“If those responsibilities are managed well they will ensure improved governance in Liberia. Also, we plan to set up a legislative internship program, establish a youth legislative body which will create opportunities for young people to learn about the legislature, how laws are made and support the various legislative committees,” he said.

The YLDP program is part of the National Endowment for Democracy support towards the project “Enhancing Youth Civic Engagements in Post-Elections Liberia.” The overall objective is to strengthen the capacity of young people to conduct legislative advocacy.

Other speakers at the YLDP program included representatives Larry P. Yanquoi, Matthew G. Zarzar, Rustonlyn S. Dennis, and Moima Briggs of Nimba, Sinoe, Montserrado and Bong counties, respectively.

Also in attendance was Margibi County Senator Jim Tornonlah. They discussed the topic: “Ensuring Effective Legislative Representation and Engagement (Building Strong Legislative and Constituent Relationship),” and also presented their individual district legislative agendas, as well as engagements with their constituencies.

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