The Mano River Union Youth Parliament -Liberia Chapter (MRUYP-LC) has impeached its current Speaker, James M. Kolleh of Bong County, in accordance with Rule 23.1 & 2 of the organization’s statute. Kolleh has subsequently been replaced with Mohammed A. Massaley of Grand Cape Mount County.
Mr. Kolleh was expelled from the Parliament following a majority vote on a motion from Harris A. Cyrille of River Gee County.
The Chairman on Information, Culture, and Tourism, Stephen N. Karly, told reporters recently that the decision to impeach the Speaker was reached in Plenary after a resolution was submitted by G. Mackie Cole, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs from River Cess County.
Karly said the resolution carried nine counts ranging from embezzlement, bribery, ineptitude, and gross violation of the statute which governs the institution.
He also claimed that the 3rd MRU Youth Parliament has not been represented at any regional or international functions since its sitting because of the Speaker being inept.
“The Speaker’s inability to properly and adequately communicate, consult, and call regular leadership meeting, collaborate with the Deputy Speakers, and acting unilaterally further justified Kolleh’s impeachment,” Karly said.
Shortly after the decision was announced, Executive members of the Parliament elected Mohammed A. Massaley as Speaker by a unanimous white ballot.
In addition, the 1st Deputy Speaker, J. Fahn Deghar, and 2nd Deputy Speaker, Daniel N. Nills, retained their respective posts.
Mr. Kolleh has meanwhile described his removal as illegal.
In a telephone interview, Kolleh said the allegations levied against him were untrue and meant “to bring my character into public ridicule.”
According to him, the Mano River Youth Parliament is a direct photocopy of the Legislature. As such, everything that governs the body comes from the Senate.
“Rule 24.1 says that in order to remove the Speaker, you need two third of the majority of the total membership of the parliament which constitutes 30 parliamentarians, so to have me removed you need a two-third majority which is 20 persons to vote,” Kolleh said.
He maintained that except vote, the Parliament does not have what these individuals called resolution. He also quoted rule 24.3 which states that in order to sustain the Speaker and the two deputies, you also need a two-third majority of the total membership, which also constitute 30 parliamentarian, all of which he said did not meet the criteria set by the Parliament rules.
“18 people signed a resolution in Tubmanburg, Bomi County; out of the 18, we were able to use the parliamentary tactics and get two of the signatories withdrawn; currently, 2 persons have withdrawn their signatures,” Kolleh said.
He said that it was based on his parliamentary tactics that he withdrew two of the 18 people’s signatures from the document. He identified the two as Joseph Kamara of Bomi and Christian Karbah of Sinoe.
“Emmanuel Swen is not a parliamentarian, he is an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. The essence of the youth parliament is to serve as advocates against the government, so how can you work in the mainstream government and be a parliamentarian?” Kolleh rhetorically asked.
Kolleh said the leadership is currently making an arrangement to lead a delegation to River Gee County, to conduct a by-election to replace Mr. Swen, the former Speaker, who is now a deputy minister.