House Signs ‘New Certificate of Extension’ for Special Session

House's Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers and Deputy Speaker Prince Moye

-After President Weah Quashed First Extension; Senate Trying to Concur

The House of Representatives has completed a new ‘Certificate of Extension of the 54th Legislature for a ‘Special or Extraordinary Session’ in order to discuss and act upon matters of national concern, from Monday, October 29 to the 30th of November.

The Daily Observer has reliably gathered that more than 30 members of the House of Representatives have affixed their signatures to the ‘Resolution on the Certificate of Extension,’ that is more than acquired numbers of signatories of one-fourth — equivalent to 17 Representatives.

Accordingly, the ‘Resolution on the Certificate of Extension,’ has been already transmitted to the Senate for concurrence, and the signatures of at least eight Senators, including President Pro Tempore Albert Chie.

The concurrence of the Senate with the House of Representatives will constitute the ‘Certificate of Extension’ and be forwarded to the President. If accepted, the President will issue a proclamation for the Extension of a Special Session of the 54th Legislature.

This is in accordance to Article 32 (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia which says: “The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a Regular Session of the Legislature beyond the date of adjournment or call a Special or Extraordinary Session of that Body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.”

It can be recalled, the first ‘Resolution of Certification of Extension’ which was to be held from Tuesday, 9 October to Friday, 9 November, was nullified by President Weah.

Unconfirmed reports say cancellation of the first Certification of Extension was because of a “failure to raise sitting fees.”

Although it has not been established whether the ‘new deal’ between the President and the Legislature will hold, the Deputy Director of House’s Press Bureau Nelson Garr said: “it’s a customary or traditional for the President to give a reasonable sitting fee to members of the Legislature, including support staff and staff of the central administration.”

The resolution also acknowledged that there are several unresolved key matters of national interest that require the urgent attention of the 54th Legislature and is aware of the emergency nature of these matters, including the ratification of the US$2.5 billion swap deal between the Government of Liberia and the China Roads and Bridge Corporation.

Other issues include the alleged missing LD$16 billion, the More Than Me Rape scandal — all of which are geared toward the enhancement of the socio-economic interests of the State and its people.

Pundits believed that apparently, the completion of the 45 feeder roads for construction and pavement and the finishing of the Military Hospital, as well the ground breaking for the Coastal Road under one year might have triggered the the consultation between President Weah and the Legislature to act upon financial agreement/Loan Agreements to get needed resources.

It can be recalled, the 1st Session of the 54th Legislature was held between Monday, January 15, and ended on Friday, August 31, 2018. The Legislature had it first Special or Extraordinary Session from Saturday – Saturday, September 1 – 15, 2018.


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