The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe, has expressed interest in the post of President Pro- Tempore of the Liberian Senate.
In a telephone interview with the Daily Observer yesterday, Senator Nagbe said the post of Pro-Temp, which was vacated by defeated Grand Bassa County former Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, needs to be occupied by someone who commands respect among his colleagues; and garners long years of governmental and Legislative experience.
Senator Nagbe said daily consultative meetings are being held among the current 15 Senators to able them to come out with a favorable candidate for the post. He said he already seems to be winning the hearts of some big names, among them a couple of former Pro Temps.
This disclosure by Senator Nagbe, who is a counselor-at-law and member of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), comes at a time when there are reports of daily meetings involving the 15 seated Senators who have formed themselves into a formidable block from which the next Pro Tempore will emerge.
There are reports of other names are emerging, besides Senator Nagbe, but with news that a geographical balance may come into play. A likely Pro Temp is expected to come from the Southeast; considering the fact that both the President of Liberia and Speaker of the House of Representatives hail from the western region of the country.
“There is a need for the western cluster Legislators to allow a balance in the geopolitics of the country. At least let us have the Pro Temp,” one of the outgoing Senators confided to this newspaper.
He also ruled out speculation that the Pro Temp might come from among the newly elected Senators, saying there are more qualified Senators among the current group.
If the other contenders, whose names are not yet known, decide to give a nod to the learned counselor, the next Session of the 53rd Senate may boast of their best ever decision. “Senator Nagbe,” said one sitting senator, is a decent, legal minded Senator with formidability, charisma and leadership abilities who has been in Legislative politics for 11 years.”
Another close confidante of Senator Nagbe told our reporter that if the lawmaker, who also serves as a member of the Board of Examiners of the Supreme Court of Liberia, is preferred, the Senate under him could undergo lot of progressive changes.
This senator, who begged anonymity, continued, “We know how often he is able to bring sobriety to the Senate when very critical national issues are debated. His ingenuity in bringing legal remedy to discussions in many instances helped restore respect to that august body.”
There is, however, another argument by those who claim to be constitutional commentators who believe there was no need for election of a Pro Tempore, because outgoing Pro Tempore only served for three years, and by law that term should be completed by the Senate Chair on Executive. But the Chair of that Committee, former Margibi County Senator Clarice Jah, too, was defeated in the just ended special elections.
It is speculated that the issue of Article 47 of the Constitution, which calls for the election of a President Pro-Tempore every six years, is topical at the various daily meetings by the current 15 Senators.
In a related development, news gathered at the Capitol Building yesterday and confirmed by the Secretary of the Senate, said the Senate (15 Senators) will hold a meeting this afternoon at 1:00 PM in the Conference Room of the Senate.
No details were given, but matters relative to the election of the next Pro Tempore and the induction of those elected during the special senatorial elections are expected to be high on the agenda.