The Majority Bloc of the Liberian Senate is expected today to announce its candidate for the position of President Pro Tempore.
The Bloc comprised of 13 Senators from the ‘Old Oder,’ and the nomination is expected to target one of the four who have expressed interest in the race for the coveted seat.
Rivercess County Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh, the Secretary General of the Bloc, said the Bloc would reach the consensus last night through a resolution to be signed by all members of the Bloc, and then formally announced.
The Rivercess County lawmaker made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer yesterday in his Capitol Building offices.
The leadership of the Senate Majority Bloc is Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, Chairman; Bong County Senator Henry W. Yallah, Co-Chairman; Rivercess County Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh, Secretary General and Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson, Spokesman.
So far, according to the Secretary General of the Bloc, the four candidates for President Pro Tempore are the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Joseph Nagbe (Gbarpolu), Armah Zolu Jallah, who chairs the Senate Committee on Internal Affairs, Governance and Reconciliation, Dan H. Morias, Chairman on Foreign Affairs and Oscar A. Cooper, Chairman on Public Works (Margibi).
In making their choice, “there are several factors that will be taken into consideration. Some are party line, geo-politics and morals, amongst others,” said Sen. Gueh. “But, let me say, it might be a political surprise to many when we announce our nominee through the resolution.”
Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe
Senator Nagbe is widely quoted as having said that the post of Senate Pro Tempore needs to be occupied by someone who commands respect among his colleagues; and has garnered years of government and legislative experience.
In spite of his diabetic condition, the Sinoe County Senator remains the only experienced Counselor-at-Law now in the Liberian Senator. He is the lone Senator from the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD), and if he grapples on geopolitics and alliances, he might be a formidable candidate based on his long service. One issue that could play against him is his signing of more than sixty contracts between the Liberian government and foreign concessions only two of which met international standard.
As Chairman on Judiciary, Nagbe is blamed for not doing much to protect the interest of ordinary Liberians who are now feeling pinch of his “poor judgment” regarding the contracts that has brought untold suffering to the Liberian people.
Gbapolu County Senator Armah Z. Jallah
Some political pundits see Senator Jallah as another redoubtable candidate owing to his accomplishments during four years in the Legislature.
He returned to the Senate in 2012 as Senator for Gbarpolu County, following the 2011 General Elections. The Pro Tempore hopeful’s earlier stint was in 1998 – 2003 and the creation of Gbarpolu was the result of his efforts.
Critics say the failed 2005 Presidential candidate, is a pretender, owing to his campaign messages that he was ‘called by God” to be president of Liberia. However, his committee’s failure to address the health workers’ strike in 2014 shows his inability to represent his people’s interest.
Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper
Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper is another undisputable diplomat and disciplinarian.
Senator Cooper’s political goal might also not fare too well because of his “class.” Furthermore, he is member of the ruling Unity Party and most of his colleagues see him as a “self-centered” lawmaker.
He is seen to be a workaholic, a man of action, who likes to see the right things being done, but he is considered as an “elite” relative to his cultural background.
According to the list of past Presidents Pro Tempore, the end of the elite class was Grace Minor, while the longest serving was Frank E. Tolbert, Sr., from 1971 to 1980, followed by John G. Rancy (1986-1989) and Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine (1997-1999).
Maryland County Senator Dan Morias
The Marylander Senator is a diplomat and disciplinarian, and has served the Foreign Committee as the number four (4) man with distinction. But his self-righteousness might spoil his political interest in the 2nd top seat of the Liberian Senate.
Some say his campaign for the ascendancy clause after the unbelievable defeat of President Pro Tempore Gbehzongar Findley and Clarice Jah, Chairman on Executive Committee in the December 20 Special Senatorial Election was meant to have an easy ride because of his unpleasant alleged unpopularity. He is also a member of the NPP.
Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif
“It cannot be politically impossible for the leader of the Bloc, Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, to emerge as the candidate,” Senator Gueh Said.
This means, if the four nominated candidates cannot get the consensus of the general membership, Senator Doe-Sherif could be the ‘chosen one’ to partner with Vice President Joseph Boakai to lead the Liberian Senate.
The former soccer star, popularly called Lady Zico, was a potent forwarder, who played for the Executive Lioness. Her colleagues called her a good team player, which is evident in the Liberian Senate with her selection as leader of the Majority Bloc.
She is the Chairman on the Committee of Transport and Co-chair of the Committee on Health, Children and Social Welfare.
In 2009 she became a Senator on the ticket of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). Senator Doe-Sherif resigned the party over what she called “administrative reasons.”
List of the Senate Majority Bloc
The Majority Bloc includes Senators Geraldine Doe-Sherif, Henry W. Yallah, Dallas A.V. Gueh, Sando D. Johnson, Jewel Howard-Taylor and Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence. The others are Peter Coleman, Oscar Cooper, Dan Morias, Thomas Grupee, Matthew Jaye and Joseph Nagbe.
Meanwhile, if the 13 Senator Majority Bloc members unanimously sign the resolution for their ‘candidate’ that could confirm their political maturity and morale, but a split in the Bloc could cause any of the freshman Senators to have an interest which would dim the prestige of the Upper House, which is known as a “House of Political Elders.”
The freshman Senator that is arguable nine, because of the recent Writ of Prohibition issued on certified Maryland Senator J. Gleh-bo Brown could amalgamate their force to change the Old Order’s idea.