In keeping with Article 32(a) of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, members of the 54th Legislature are expected to resume normal legislative work on Monday, January 11, 2021
Article 32(a) states: “The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.”
Senators and Representatives, led by the President of the Senate — Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers will assemble at the front of the Capitol Building next Monday by 10 a.m. to participate in the hoisting of the Flag of Liberia, following the hoisting of the flags of the 15 counties.
After the flag-hoisting ceremony, Senators and Representatives will march into their respective chambers for a formal opening program, and thereafter, by 12 noon, there will be a joint luncheon program, wherein the President, the Chief Justice, Cabinet and members of the Diplomatic corps, business and religious community including traditional leaders are expected to attend.
President Pro Tempore Albert Chie, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Vice President Taylor and President Grorge M. Weah will make remarks.
According to the protocol, all the 30 Senators are expected to be in attendance including those who failed to be re-elected because January 2021 is the “last month” for them to receive their full salaries and benefits as Senators. Senators Darius Dillon of Montserrado, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of Grand Bassa and Augustine Cheah were the only Senators re-elected.
Whereas, newly elected Senators, beginning Tuesday, January 5, will present their Certificates of Election from the National Elections Commission (NEC) if received, to the Secretary of the Senate, who will make them form part of Tuesday’s session — marking the 1st day session of the 4th Sitting of the Senate.
Upon taking the oath, they are automatically members of the 54th Legislature.
According to election pundits, only 11 Senators might receive letters from NEC, as Grand Kru, Gbarpolu and Nimba are before the NEC, owing to complaints of alleged electoral fraud. It has not been confirmed if the CDC has complained for a recount in Bomi County.
For the House of Representatives, there are three confirmed vacancies owing to the election of Deputy Speaker Prince Moye (Bong County, Collaborating Political Parties); Rep. Zoe E. Pennue (Grand Gedeh County, Coalition for Democratic Change); Rep. Edwin M. Snowe (Bomi County, Independent), all Senators-elect.
The election of the three Representatives created openings — most especially the Deputy Speaker post; and the openings coincided with the appointment of chairmen and co-chairmen of statutory and standing committees, which Rule 54.1 mandates the Speaker to do after three years.
Also, it has been confirmed that the two vacancies created by the deaths of Rep. J. Nagbe Sloh of Sinoe County District #2 and Munah Pelham-Youngblood of Montserrado Counties District #9 have been filled by Representatives-elect Samson Wiah and Saah Teah Foko, respectively.
It has not been confirmed whether the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), had formally complained to the NEC for rerun in District #9 Montserrado.