Sen. Joseph Chairs Senate Committee on Executive

Montserrado County Senator Saah H. Joseph, who was favored by President George M. Weah as his successor in the Montserrado Senate, appears to be overstepping his bounds. (Photo: J. Tonpo)

The Liberian Senate has overwhelmingly elected Montserrado County Senator Saah H. Joseph as Chairman of the Senate Statutory Committee on Executive. The position has been vacant due to the death of Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif of Montserrado Count who once served as Chairperson of said Committee.

The Chairman on Executive of the Senate is a middle person between the Senate and the Executive Branch and a co-helper to the President Pro-tempore of the Senate in the day to day running of the Senate, a statement from the Senate explained.

Since the death of Senator Sheriff, the Senate has been sitting without a Chair on the statutory Comnittee on Executive, which is the second in ranking within the leadership structure of the Senate.

Saah H. Joseph, who replaced former Senator, now President of Liberia ,H. E. George M. Weah was on Tuesday July 2, 2019 elected on a white ballot by majority members of the Senate.

The election, which was “consensus based,” was based on a nomination of of Senator Joseph by Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson, as the lone candidate for the post.

Based on the unwillingness of other Senators to express interest, Nimba County Senator, Prince Y. Johnson was subsequently asked to cast a white ballot representing the majority votes which automatically declared Senator Saah Joseph as the new Chairman of the Senate’s Statutory Committee on Executive.

Minutes after being administered the oath of office by the Senate Secretary J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, the newly elected Chairman on Executive commended his colleagues for the confidence reposed in him.

“I want to take this time to express my thanks and appreciation to all of you for electing me as your Chairman on Executive. I promised that I will not disappoint you,” Senator Joseph told his colleagues.

He said the fact that he was chosen by the ruling party to replace President Weah at the Senate speaks volume that he (Senator Joseph) has a cordial relationship with the Executive.

Staffers welfare

Meanwhile, Sen. Joseph said the welfare of Senate staffers will be one of the key components of his leadership.

Specifically, the Montserrado Lawmaker made mention of the breakdown of buses to commute staffers to and from work as something of a major concern as Chairman on Executive, adding “you cannot have staffs at the House of Representative coming to work in the House of Representatives’ buses and our staffs at the Senate are transporting themselves “.

Senator Saah Joseph won the hearts of Liberians based on his selflessness during the fight of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that badly hit the Country in 2014.

As a sitting Representative at the time, Saah Joseph put aside his high profile and drove ambulances around Montserrado carrying Ebola patients to the “Holding Centers” or Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia and its environs.

As a result of his contributions, Senator Joseph was overwhelmingly reelected in 2017 by the people of district 13 Montserrado County. Few months later, he was also overwhelmingly elected by the people of Montserrado in the 2018 by-election as Senator of Montserrado County to replace then Senator George M. Weah, who was elected President of Libera during the 2017 presidential election.

The vacancy filled by Senator Joseph on the Senate Committee on Executive was created by the death in February of Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, in a hospital in Accra, Ghana after an intense battle with cancer. Sen. Doe-Sherif was elected to the Senate in 2009 through a by-election, held as a result of the death of previous Montserrado Senator Hannah Brent.

Doe-Sherif, popularly known as “Lady Zico” for her soccer prowess in the 1980s, was elected to chair the Senate Committee on Executive by former President Pro Tempore Armah Zolu Jallah, who she supported in his battle for Senate Pro Tempore against then Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe. Nagbe is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

The late Doe-Sherif served in that post through the administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and was again retained by current Senate Pro Tempore Albert T. Chie, along with others through a consensus vote in 2018.

Senator Joseph a former, member of the House of Representatives, contested and won the by-election to replace former Senator, now President George Manneh Weah.


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