Grand Gedeh County Senator Isaac Nyenabo scored political and legislative points on his colleagues again when he scuttled a plenary decision to request President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to retire her Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale.
A special block within the Liberian Senate comprising 15 Senators last week voted in favor of a motion requesting “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to recall Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, and honorably retire him.”
The group of senators cited “health condition” as the reason for their decision.
However, during the call for votes, Grand Kru and River Gee Senators Cletus Wortorson and Frederick Doe Cherue voted against the motion, while Grand Gedeh Senator Nyenabo announced a motion for reconsideration, a move that largely stalled the entire process and dashed the hope of the opposition block, a legislative commentator asserted.
Motion for Reconciliation
The Grand Gedeh County lawmaker has been successful in stalling the quest of some of his colleagues to force Dr. Gwenigale into retirement.
The intent for filing a motion for reconsideration is to “Filibuster and Buy more time, aimed at convincing the presiding officer to consider previous arguments provided by a senator during the debate but was not considered by his/her colleagues.”
In a conversation with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Senator Nyenabo disclosed that he intends to introduce his motion on the second Tuesday of this month, in keeping with their rules that provide that a Motion for Reconsideration when filed, has three session days to bring back the subject for legislative action.
Interestingly, Nyenabo has been successful in achieving the goals for such motion based on a constitutional requirement that compels the Legislature to adjourn session after the elapse of the emergency period.
Article 87 (a), “Emergency powers do not include the power to suspend or abrogate the Constitution, dissolve the Legislature, or suspend or dismiss the Judiciary; and no constitutional amendment shall be promulgated during a state of emergency.
Where the Legislature is not in session, it must be convened immediately in special session and remain in session during the entire period of the state of emergency.”
Thursday November 6 marks the end of the 90 day State of Emergency announced by President Johnson Sirleaf on August 6, 2014.
Nyenabo argued that said decision of the 15 Senators to ask the President to retire Minister Gwenigale violates Article 56 a) of the Constitution, which gives the power to the President to appoint and fire, and those appointees work at the will and pleasure of the President.
Judging from these constitutional provisions and in keeping with the Senate rules, the Grand Gedeh County Senator and former President Pro Tempore has again trounced the entire plenary of the Senate in achieving a critical but cardinal decision in their political history.
As was done in cases involving the Liberian Senate and Madam Mary T. Broh, President Sirleaf’s second letter during the emergency period requesting for more power, a similar motion was filed by Senator Nyenabo, thereby placing hold on these two critical issues.
Meanwhile, legislative analysts believe that the decision to retire Dr. Gwenigale as proffered by some members of the Senate will gain no results since the matter can no longer be discussed ahead of defeating Nyenabo’s motion.