The Daily Observer has reliably learned that the Liberian Senate is close to obtaining a majority vote to “kick out” Grand Bassa County Senator Gbehzohngar M. Findley from the President Pro Tempore post.
Article 27 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia states: “The Senate shall elect once every six years a President Pro Tempore who shall preside in the absence of the President of the Senate, and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the Senate.”
Pro Temp Findley won a slim majority in the January 2012 election, beating former Liberian first lady and Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor by one vote.
Since winning that heavily contested poll, the Grand Bassa Independent Candidate has been struggling to stamp his authority in the operations of the house of elders, causing him to lose full control of power.
According to credible sources, senators are resolved to dismiss Pro Temp Findley for what they call, “his inability to properly lead the Senate, actions that have brought the noble chamber into public disrepute.”
A majority of the senators believe that Senator Findley’s close ties with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is largely responsible for his “ineptitude.”
Our sources hinted that senators are extremely angry about the current state of affairs of the Senate, adding; “Findley is done with selling the Senate to the presidency and there is no respect for us from the Executive any longer.”
Sources quoted another senator from Liberia’s North Central Region as saying, “under this Senator of Grand Bassa, the Senate is losing respect from ordinary Liberians, and our constituents have no confidence in our ability to adequately represent them or protect their interests.
“We are resolved to achieving this goal and we want to do that as quickly as possible in order to protect our integrity in this critical period of our nation’s history.
“We’ve had about two separate meetings on said subject and majority of us are willing to (affix) our signature to that resolution immediately.
“You (journalists who) interact with lawmakers and know the running of that chamber (know that) Pro Temp has turned the Senate into a real cheering squad for the President. We’re worried about the future of our individual political careers when the stage we have to strengthen our democracy is falling flat to the feet of the presidency due to weakness and selfish interest of an individual. He knows that he has been able to obtain a majority despite his being first amongst equals,” a senator said in an angry, but confident tone.
Some senators, including Montserrado County Senator Joyce M. Freeman Sumo, have had personal differences with Pro Temp Findley over similar issues and have openly expressed that to his face in session on many occasions.
Accusations of leaking conversations or decisions taken by the Senate to the President have come from Madam Sumo on two separate occasions, assertions Findley has repeatedly denied.
Based on the issues highlighted by the senators, any action to remove him will be supported by the constitutional provision. If they are successful, this will be a repeat of the Isaac Nyenabo versus the Senate when he (Nyenabo) was removed from the same post. However, Sen. Nyenabo protested the decision to the Supreme Court and won the case.
Contacted for reaction, Pro Temp Findley’s press attaché Moses Wenyou, dismissed the information, adding that the Senate is a responsible body that does not operate in such a manner.
“That information has no iota of truth in it and the Pro Temp is not worried about that either,” Wenyou asserted.