Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will today begin the last session, which will be the 6th of the 53rd Legislature.
The return of the Legislators to the Capitol Building is in fulfilment of Article 32 (a) of the Constitution which states that, “The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.”
The lawmakers will continue legislative work to revive the economy, House and Senate’s Press Director Jarlawah A. Tonpo said.
He also clarified that today is constitutionally the second working Monday, because New Year’s Day, January 1, fell on Sunday and was celebrated on Monday, January 2.
According to the protocol, members of the 53rd Legislature will assemble at the front of the main entrance of the Capitol Building at about 10a.m. to proceed to their respective chambers to begin the official opening of the Final Hours of the 6th Session.
As enshrined in the political tradition and legislative culture, The President of the Senate, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, and House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, will address their respective colleagues on several challenges and offer strategies to mitigate issues with a robust agenda.
There will not be the traditional hoisting of the flags of the 15 counties because of the ongoing construction of the annexes.
Members of both houses will thereafter hold a joint opening ceremony and climax it with a dinner to be graced by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, members of the Cabinet, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and members of the diplomatic missions near Monrovia.
On the second Tuesday of October this year, 75 seats, including those of the president (and his/her running mate) and the House of Representatives, will be elected into office.
Constitutionally, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has almost reached the end of her terms of office.
As for the House of Representatives, 66 out of the 73 incumbents will stand for re-election, and all of them are expected to face hard battles in the October election.
The Daily Observer has gathered that among the 73 members of the House of Representatives, only seven are not seeking re-election.
They include former Speaker and Bomi County District #1 Rep., J. Alex Tyler; Grand Gedeh County District #2 Rep., Morais Waylee; Grand Kru County District #1 Rep., George Wesseh Blamoh; Lofa County District #5 Rep., Moses Y. Kollie; Maryland County District #1 Rep. James Biney; Nimba County District #3 Rep., Samuel Woleh; and Bomi County District #2 Rep., S. Gayah Karmoh.
Statistics show that the re-election rate of members of the House of Representatives for the past elections (2005 and 2011) is 34 percent (successful), while 64 percent have failed in their bid to return to the House.