The Chairman of the Movement for Economic Empower (MOVEE), Dan Saryee, has opposed to the idea of power concentration in one region that he says has the propensity to make others feel in the country that they are marginalized.
In an exclusive interview over the weekend with the Daily Observer, Mr. Sarye said as much as he is from the south-east, he does not favor the idea where the Speaker is from Maryland County (mother county of Grand Kru), the President Pro-Tempore from Grand Kru, and moreover the President.
Saryee’s comment which comes in the wake of expression of Grand Kru County District #2 Representative, Fonati Koffa’s desire to contest the Deputy Speaker position that is now vacant in the House of Representatives notes that Liberians have to think 20 years ago when they are making a decision to realize where they erred or what was responsible for certain events to do things in the way that what was ugly yesterday is not repeated in the present.
“I hear people say this is south-eastern time and power should be concentrated in the south-east. I detest that; I don’t think this is the way we should build our democracy; we should be able to decentralize our governance system. I also hear people say since this is south-eastern time we from other regions will produce the President and take over the government. I also disagree. I disagree in that we need to have people who are capable and competent enough to do the work that needs to be done for the country,” Mr. Saryee said.
According to him, if a competent person that can build the country’s economy is from a region, it will be disadvantageous to the country to leave him or her because of regional sentiment to put an incompetent there.
“Now, in the situation where the Speaker is coming from Maryland, the Pro-Temp from Grand Kru, and the Deputy Speaker is to come from there perhaps, it is unrealistic, insensitive, and not just good for our democracy,” he added.
He said while MOVEE and the Rainbow Coalition have no lawmaker in the House yet and still contesting the position in Sinoe County, they are, however, going to consult to “Bore hole” into the argument so that the Deputy Speaker position comes from different area other than the south-east.
In the Liberian Constitution, there is no provision prohibiting the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker coming from the same county or region as it is with the President and the Vice President. However, the MOVEE Chairman said where the constitution is silent on a particular issue expediency must step in because not all issues must have constitutional backings before being considered.
The Deputy Speaker position is a ceremonial position that he or she who occupies it becomes an ex-officio to committees set up by the Speaker. He or she only acts as a presiding officer if the Speaker is absent in session.
Meanwhile, the December 8 mid-term election has given big edge to the opposition and the independent senators to dominate the upper House. This latest development is highly likely to change the political dynamic in the Senate.
In spite of the power concentration, the Senate may create a tougher atmosphere for the Executive and the CDC-led Government as its constitutional responsibilities are more to impede or halt what the President may want to see achieved. The Senate approves impeachment, the printing of money, and confirming of appointed officials amongst others.