The election and certification of Rivercess County District # 2 Representative Francis S. Paye to the Liberian Senate is historic and unprecedented, according to House Speaker Alex Tyler.
Speaker Tyler, one of the longest serving Speakers of the National Legislature in recent times with nine years in office, said Rep. Paye, being an incumbent Representative of Rivercess County to win a Senate seat in his first term is historic.
“I stand to be corrected; but it is historic that he, in his first term as a Representative, has won a Senate seat from the chambers of the House of Representatives,” Speaker Tyler said. “I hope Hon. Paye will be our Ambassador to the Senate, facilitating some of the intractable problems that occasionally arise between the sister Houses.”
It is believed that this is the first time for a sitting Representative to contest and win a Senatorial seat.
According to the results from the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Senator-elect accumulated 1,959 votes, or 22.8% of the poll.
The remaining 10 candidates who vied for the county’s high office were outgoing Senator Jonathan J. Banney (PUP) – 627 votes (7.3%); Superintendant Wellington G. Smith (UP) – 1,278 votes (14.9%) Atty. D. Onesimus Banwon (LP) 566 votes – (6.6%) and J. Josephus Burgess, Sr. (ANC) – 1,010 votes (11.7%).
Others were Teplah P. Reeves – 143 votes (1.7%); Rosana G.D.H. Schaack (MPC) – 687 votes (8.0%); Emmanuel S. Toe (ULD) – 312 votes (3.6%); Minnie T. Tomah (IND) 82 votes – (1.0%) and Ziankahn B. Tompoe – 880 votes (10.2%).
The former Representative served as member on three Committees; Information, Broadcasting, Culture & Tourism; National Defense and the Resettlement, Repatriation, Relief and Re-Adjustment.
Senator-elect Paye, 59, told the LEGISCOPE on Thursday in an exclusive interview that his election was based on developmental initiatives and his regular interventions in sessions, dispelling the adage of the past, that “the Rivercess lawmakers are “bobo lawmakers.”
According to reports, the Senator-elect began working with government as a janitor in the office of the wife of a Bassa County lawmaker in 1974, and later as an interpreter. A few years later, he became Superintendent of Rivercess County, 2006 – 2011, and then Representative, from 2012 to 2014.
Said Senator-elect Paye: “Since I was born, I have dreamt of being a Senator and because of that, everyday was like a campaign.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Tyler has advanced a recommendation for coordination between the three Branches of Government, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.
The Bomi County Representative asserted that if Liberia is to progress in its development, the three branches of the government must coordinate and collaborate to enhance the country’s recovery drive just as is being exhibited during the fight against Ebola.