House Inducts Two Additional Members

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Lofa County Representative Clarence Kortu Massaquoi

Several House Committees appointed

Representatives Joseph Momo Matthew, Jr. of Electoral District #3 in Gbarpolu County and Clarence Kortu Massaquoi of Electoral District #3 in Lofa County have both taken the ‘Oath of Affirmation’ as the 67th and 68th members of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature.

The two lawmakers were inducted yesterday during the 4th day sitting of the 1st session of the House of Representatives by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers in keeping with the 1986 Constitution and the House Rules and Procedures.

The induction of the two Representatives followed the receipt of separate letters from the National Elections Commission (NEC) stating that the legal challenges against them had been resolved and they had been duly certificated.

NEC’s letter to Speaker Chambers stated that the challenge against Representative Joseph M. Matthew, Jr. of Gbarpolu County electoral district #3, had been finally disposed of, and Matthew had been certificated by the NEC on Wednesday, January 17, as the duly elected representatives of the district.”

Speaker Chambers received a second letter from NEC  informing him that following the ruling of the Supreme Court in his favor,  Clarence Kortu Massaquoi had been declared winner of the October 10, 2017 representatives election of district #3, Lofa County and subsequently certified.”

The outstanding five electoral districts with ongoing legal disputes are districts #4, 7 and 8 in Nimba County.

With the induction of Rep. Massaquoi on Tuesday, many political pundits believe that it was a ‘procedural error’ for the Lofa County lawmaker to become a member of the 54th Legislature on Monday, January 22, in which he seconded the motion of adjournment of the 1st Special Joint Session.

River Gee County District #3 Representative Francis S. Dopoh, II in Tuesday’s session affirmed the belief of the political pundits, but the House Speaker, in an apologetic tone, attributed the error to ‘an oversight.’

Meanwhile the appointment of additional committee members was announced by Speaker Chambers to include former deputy Speaker Hans Barchue as chairman on the House’s Modernization Committee and head of delegation of the House to the Pan African Parliament and a member of the Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning Committee.

Other appointees are Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah, chairperson on Ways, Means and Finance, while other members of the committee include Representative Jeremiah Koon (Nimba), Manah Bishop Jackson (Bomi), Joseph Matthew (Gbarpolu), Hans Barchue (Grand Bassa), Mambu M. Sonii (Grand Cape Mount), George S. Borley (Grand Gedeh), Julie Wiah (Lofa), P. Mike Jurry (Maryland), Francis Saidi Dopoh, II (River Gee), Nathaniel N. Barway (Grand Kru), Matthew Zarzar (Sinoe), and Rosanna Schaak (Rivercess). Other members to represent Bong and Margibi counties respectively will be announced later.

For the Committee on Information and Communication, Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh is the chairman, while Rep. Beyan Howard is named the co-chairman. Rep. Barchue will chair the Modernization Committee, co-chaired by Rustonlyn S. Dennis. Rep. Julie Wiah is the chairperson for the Gender Committee and Rep. Emerson Kamara is the co-chairman. Rep. Hans Barchue is the head of delegation of the Pan African Parliament for the House of Representatives. Members are Reps. Alex Grant and Julie Wiah. Representative Acarous Gray is the head of delegation of the African Caribbean Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliament.

The Speaker has also established a Special Committee headed by Montserrado County District #6 Representative Samuel Enders to collaborate with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for capacity training and technical support. Other members are Montserrado County District #1 Representative Lawrence Morris, Montserrado County District #1 Representative Richard Koon, Sinoe County District #2 Representative Matthew Zarzar and Representative Ellen Amarkai Attoh of District #3 Margibi County.

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