Lofa County Electoral District #3 Representative, Clarence Massaquoi has vowed to make Speaker Bhofal Chambers whom he described as a good administrator as a listening speaker that works in the interest of the people.
Rep. Massaquoi who has been nominated by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) to contest the pending Deputy Speaker position said he has a great wealth of experience and has played a major leadership role on committees over the years, something he said places him in the right position to become a deputy to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Deputy Speaker position became vacant after as a result of Prince Kermue Moye’s election to the Senate, a position he occupied prior to the senatorial election in December last year.
“I remember disagreeing on some occasions with Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who was our President. I did not give in to suggestions because I am a member of the Unity Party (UP). Why not this time? I will not go in bed with Chambers against the interest of the country,” he said.
According to Rep. Massaquoi, Speaker Bhofal Chambers was vocal and different in his style of talking when former President Sirleaf was still in charge, but now that he is serving a crucial leadership role and coming from the ruling Coalition.
“He may have all of the ugly behaviors, he is a good administrator. The challenge is that he needs a strong opposition who will look into his face to tell him his wrongdoing and also help suggest a way forward. I can be that person because I don’t have any special interest except to ensure that we do what is right,” Massaquoi added.
He added: “For too long we have sat and watched things go. We gave the ruling party the chance believing that they were still on the learning curve and especially so that both the President and the Vice President came from the same Legislature. We want them to succeed but the remaining three years, we will be robust and very proactive in our work.”
Lofa District #3 Lawmaker said he will help Chambers stabilize the House of Representatives if he is elected.
“In 2017, the Unity Party agreed with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) that they have the Speakership position why we have the Deputy Speaker post. Hon. Prince Moye did well in helping Chambers steer the affairs of the House but the tension was too much. We had too many challenges that were unsettled but going forward, and with me at the Deputy Speaker position, things will normalize,” he assured.
Massaquoi noted further that he cannot be compromised and that in case Chambers does not listen, he will recuse himself many times to step on the floor as any other Lawmaker to speaker against things that are not in the best interest of the country.
He admitted that the both Houses of the Legislature have not been strong in their oversight and as such the Executive has been having honeymoon.
“We don’t make laws every day but oversight is something we should be doing every day. When we appropriate budget we should not just sit and think we have played our part and done with it. We should ensure that the Executive spends the money as registered in the budget we vetted and passed on,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator-Elect, Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr, who also participated on the show after Massaquoi, said he supports Massaquoi and he will do all in his power to ensure that the Lofa Lawmaker ascends to the post of Deputy Speaker.
“I know Clarence Massaquoi very well. He is a decent man and I can vouch for him to become the next deputy Speaker,” Snowe said.
He said in the interest of multi-party democracy, it will be good to have a Deputy Speaker from the opposition rather than from the same ruling establishment. Rep. Massaquoi said the position of Deputy Speaker is very important to the House of Representatives because the Speaker confers with the deputy to make a lot of decisions and even get guidance on how to proceed with certain issues on the floor in Plenary.
“CDC has the Speaker, Chairperson on Executive Committee and taking over the Deputy again means that we will not be doing our democracy any good,” Snowe noted.
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is hugely supporting Grand Kru County District #2 Representative, Fonati Koffa for the Deputy Speaker position.
For his part, Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon said he and his colleagues will ensure that President George Weah dismisses Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Ndwabudike due to his ineligibility to hold the position of head of the Liberia Ant-Corruption Commission (LACC).
Ndwabudike, having been appointed to serve as Chairman of the National Elections Commission by President Weah, was denied Senate confirmation on grounds that he failed to provide proof that he is a Liberia Citizen, either by birth or naturalization, a requirement among others that qualifies one to serve as head of the LACC or even one of the Commissioners of the entity.