IREDD Grades Lawmakers on Attendance, Participation

According to IREDD, Montserrado Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff (left), Montserrado County District #9 Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood (3rd from left) and Bomi County District #2 Rep. Manah Bishop Johnson, all incurred absences due to illness. Senator Henry Yallah (2nd from left), was mostly absent, probably because of political activities in his county connected to his reelection.

Montserrado, Bomi, and Bong counties have ranked the least or lowest in the overall average in “attendance” during the 1st session of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, from Monday, January 15 to Friday, September 14, 2018.

The overall percentage of the lawmakers from Montserrado, Bomi, and Bong counties indicate that they have not been “going to work” and there are more absences than presences, according to the full monitoring reports from the Institute for Research and Democratic and Development (IREDD).

Mr. Harold Aidoo, the Executive Director of IREDD, announced the report yesterday, at their Sinkor 16th Street office.

Accordingly, in the House of Representatives, the three Representatives from Bomi County, in an overall average scored 45.2%, which is an “F”. The nine Representatives from Nimba County scored the highest with an average attendance score of 88% which is equal to “B” in attendance to sessions for that county’s lawmakers.

The report said in between the scores, Margibi County ranked second with an average attendance of the five lawmakers for 87.5% (B); followed by River Gee County in third place with an average of 86.2% (B). Others are: Maryland (82.6% or B); Gbarpolu (81.9% or B); Bong (81.5% or B); Grand Kru (81.5% or B); and Lofa (80.9% or B).

The counties that got a “C” average for attendance include: Sinoe (78.3%); Grand Cape Mount (77.5%); Montserrado (76.2%); Rivercess (76.1%); and Grand Gedeh (70.3%).

Grand Bassa County got a D for attendance, amounting to 67%.

In the Senate, Grand Gedeh County scored the highest with an average attendance of the score of the two senators at 89.2%, which is B, while Montserrado County ranked least at 28.5% and Bong County got the second least (52.4%) taking into consideration each county’s lone representation in the Senate.

Senators of Rivercess County ranked the second highest average in attendance of 83.3%, followed by Maryland and Grand Kru respectively in the third with an average  of 82.1% (B); River Gee (79.7%); Lofa (79.7%); Bomi (77.3%); Sinoe (77.3%); and Margibi (76.2%).

Others include Sinoe 78.3%; Grand Cape Mount 77.5%; Grand Bassa County 71.4%; Nimba 70.2%; and Grand Cape Mount 62%.

“Highlighting the highest and lowest performing counties, for Nimba (in the House of Representatives), which has nine  Representatives, one representative scored an ‘A’ grade with the other eight getting ‘B grades each. For the least performing Bomi County, two of the three representatives scored ‘F’ and the third obtained a grade of ‘C’,” the report said.

It added: “In the Senate, Grand Gedeh County, which ranked highest scored an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ grade. For the least performing Montserrado County, Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif, the lone Senator for much of the Legislative sitting, scored an ‘F’, which was largely due to her illness.”

The IREDD said for participation (which counts the number of times a lawmaker speaks in a Plenary Sitting), a total of 849 participations were recorded over the period, in which the main opposition, Unity Party lawmakers, performed the highest with the cumulative participation of 282 times.

Lawmakers from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) came second with 213 participation times, followed by the People’s Unification Party (PUP) with a total of 164 participation times.

Others are Independents (86); LINU (20); ALP (16); MDR (16); MOVEE (14); LP (13) VCP (11); LTP (9); and MPC (5) participation times accordingly.

“At the Senate, a total of 1149 participation times were recorded during the period, with UP attaining 509 times, followed by Liberty Party and the CDC with 125 and 103 participating times respectively,” IREDD’s report said.

Meanwhile, in overall attendance of lawmakers from their respective political parties, CDC topped with 898 present times, followed by UP with 835.

Also for the overall absences, CDC lawmakers topped the absent times with 219 times cumulatively, while the UP’s absences amounted to 144.

The IREDD further indicated that in the ‘sick category’, which is an official excuse due to illness, the total ‘sick times’ recorded was 28, of which Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood of the CDC accounted for 26.

“IREDD observes that on the average, for every time a representative attended a session, he or she was away from another session one time,” the report said.

On oversight, IREDD recorded 200 communications between the House of Representatives and the Senate, and of the 200 communications recorded, 120 or 60% came from the House and 80 or 40% came from the Senate.

IREDD said that elected lawmakers under the umbrella of political parties have so far failed to be accountable to their respective political institutions.

I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.


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