The grounds of the Capitol Building – the Legislature, the official seat of Liberian Representatives and Senators, was yesterday the scene of emotional drama as two groups of women displayed opposing emotions over the selection of Speaker Nuquay as Unity Party vice standard bearer for the upcoming elections.
One group, calling themselves ‘Women from the Capitol Building,’ was made up of 40 women, some of who danced when they heard the news of Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay’s selection as vice standard bearer of the Unity Party, displaying placards that read: “Congratulations Incoming Vice President.”
One of the organizers, Mrs. Ida F. Kamanor, said: “We are dancing to the selection of the Speaker of the House of Representatives; we are happy that he was chosen to run as vice standard bearer on the Unity Party ticket. And we are happy that the Speaker is the right choice.”
The dancing women were joined by some members and sympathizers of the Unity Party, including Deputy Minister for Youth Development, Rufus Neufville. “What’s the matter with Speaker Nuquay and what’s the matter with the Vice President?” Mr. Neufville shouted. “Alright,” the women responded.
The waiting-and-dancing women ended their jubilation with a word from the Speaker’s aide that the Speaker would dance with them on Thursday, July 13, because he had a tight schedule after his selection and the activities thereafter. The Speaker’s selection to contest as Vice President indicates that only 65 of the 73 incumbents will be vying to return to the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, amid the celebration on one side of the Capitol Building, a smaller crowd with Nimba County Representative R. Matenokay Tingban and other anti-UP personalities were not so happy with the Vice President’s choice of running mate.
“He (Veep Boakai) let down Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties by not selecting the right vice standard bearer, and would deeply split legislative politics,” was a statement heard at the gathering.
It may be recalled that on Monday, at the UP headquarters, Vice President Boakai named Speaker Nuquay as his running mate, because “this is someone that we trust.” He stated that Speaker Nuquay has demonstrated dedication and leadership ability in advancing the national interest. “The person we have chosen to be the running mate shares my vision to continually think Liberia, love Liberia and build Liberia,” Veep Boakai said.
In his acceptance speech, Speaker Nuquay lauded the VP for choosing him, described his selection as a blessing from God. “Today is indeed a great day that has been destined by God and least anticipated,” Nuquay said. “This is the will of God and I am humbled and happy to work along with the VP for the betterment of our country Liberia.”
Meanwhile, there were 10 Representatives at yesterday’s session, which was the 47th day sitting. As a result of the program where Nuquay was selected to run with the Vice President, there were not enough members in the House of Representatives for a quorum, for which session was cancelled. The House’s press director Isaac Redd confirmed to newsmen yesterday that the “cancellation of Tuesday’s session is because of no quorum.” According to the House’s rules and regulations, at least 36 members – bodily or officially absent – make up a quorum.