Sen. Cooper Rejects Nuquay’s Nomination

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Sen. Cooper: "because we would be in violation of the Act that created the LAA."

– Wants President Weah properly advised

A member of the Senate Committee on Transportation has suggested that the president’s legal counsel takes a look at the law and properly advise him on the nomination of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives as director general of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LAA).

“I am not against Emmanuel Nuquay getting a job in the Coalition for Democratic Change-led government, but I think we should abide by the law where it states that one must have aviation experience, otherwise you will be putting the country at a disadvantage, and that is not right. The confirmation has gone through and it is left with the President to give Honorable Nuquay another post,” Senator Oscar Cooper said.

Senator Cooper and Nuquay both hail from Margibi County.

Cooper made the statement in his Capitol Building office moments after the reading of his letter to the Senate plenary in which he submitted a minority report against the “committee’s confirmation report of Mr. Nuquay as LAA director general, in accordance with the Senate Standing Rules 48 section.”

Sen. Cooper last Thursday announced that he would do so following his committee’s recommendation to the Senate plenary sitting in the Joint Chambers that Nuquay possesses the requisite qualification for the position he was nominated to occupy.

Cooper quoted from his minority report, Section 203 (1) (2) of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority Act, which among other things states that: “The Director General shall be appointed with regards to being properly qualified and experienced in civil aviation for the efficient discharge of the powers and duties vested in and imposed by the Act. At the time of nomination, the director general shall have at least ten years management or similar experience in a field directly related to aviation.”

In consonance with the reasons quoted, Sen. Cooper decided to file the minority report, “because we would be in violation of the Act that created the LAA.”

The Senate during its 11th day sitting yesterday through a motion voted that Sen. Cooper’s minority report be received without further deliberation or action. Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, presided over the hearing.

Nuquay was the Unity Party vice presidential running mate of former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai during the 2017 presidential election, which ended in a runoff on December 26. He is among three other candidates whose nominations have received sharp negative public reactions.

The nomination of then Justice Minister-designate Cllr. Charles Gibson after continuous public outcry was rescinded; while a similar outcry is ongoing against the nomination of Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Health Minister-designate.

Meanwhile, in a rather strange twist, Nuquay’s confirmation was conducted behind closed doors in a committee room, although the majority of the confirmation hearings so far had been conducted in the Joint Chambers.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Good for the Honorable Gentleman from Margibi. Considering the huge sums these Senators are paid, they really ought to be doing a more serious and thorough job. They can cooperate with the Chief Executive without compromising their constitutional obligation of “check and balance” and becoming mere rubber stamps at that. In other words, our Senators must now studiously vet the qualifications and suitability of all nominees put to them before giving their “advice and consent”… And by the way, no more of those Ellen Sirleaf brown envelopes please.

  2. Freeman,
    It’s good to have experience in everything we do. Please don’t get me wrong. But, there are some jobs that require on the job training. Or to put it another way, have all the Senators and Representatives done legislative duties anywhere in space before? Do they (all of them) have legislative experience?
    Give Nuquay a break. I don’t know the guy. But, he has to eat and feed his family. If the money does not flow in his wife’s purse, it may not look too good for the gentleman. You know that Freeman.

  3. Starting Right! I do not think Sen. Cooper has anything against the former Speaker. Regrettably, he does not have the technical experience to run the aviation program. I think the president made the nomination in good faith. I advise that he makes another appointment compatible with the Speaker’s qualifications. The President needs proper advisement.

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