-But defers election of staff members
The Senate yesterday voted to confirm the first group of President George Weah’s cabinet, less than 24 hours after that body received their nominations, and subsequent confirmation hearings.
In a report by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais, the committee members informed plenary that the Minister of Foreign Affairs-designate Gbehzohngar Milton Findley was found qualified to handle the foreign affairs of Liberia, and therefore recommended his confirmation.
“In consonant with the findings of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the 54th Legislature, and after scrupulous consultations with key stakeholders, former and current diplomats and administrative experts, the committee is pleased to herein recommend to the full plenary of the Senate to unanimously confirm nominee Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia,” the report signed by five members of that committee recommended.
In its confirmation report to the plenary on the Minister of Finance-designate, the statutory committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget recommended to plenary that, “following a thorough examination of the nominee’s curriculum vitae, exhaustive analysis of his oral testimony, answers to questions posed to him by committee members, and given his services records with institutions of government and his policy vision, which the committee has determined will positively impact the government’s pro-poor policies through the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning, the committee is convinced that Samuel D. Tweh has the requisite educational background and working experience to effectively serve the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning as Minister.”
“Wherefore and in view with the foregoing, the committee with no reservations recommends to the plenary of the honorable Senate to unanimously confirm Mr. Tweh, Minister of Finance, Development and Planning of Liberia,” the Morris G. Saytumah chaired committee noted under the signatures of 11 members, which represents the majority.
On the confirmation report for Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Minister-designate for the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, the Committee on Executive chaired by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif told plenary that through the confirmation proceedings, members of that group found it pleasing to recommend the nominee for the post.
The over 20 members present at yesterday’s 4th day sitting then unanimously voted by a show of hands to move to executive session where the eventual decisions of confirming the three nominees were taken.
On Wednesday, which is a non-sitting Senate day (Tuesdays and Thursdays are session days), the Senate went into a special sitting at which time communications from President Weah’s office nominating the three officials were read, followed by immediate confirmation hearings.
Except for Tweh, who eloquently and coherently elaborated on why he should be confirmed based on his expertise in the area of finance, former Pro Tempore Findley was outright to inform the Foreign Affairs Committee that he was venturing into a terrain that he would rely on the experience and consultations of experts who have threaded that path.
He has nonetheless been confirmed.
In a related development, the Senate yesterday voted to accept a motion from Senate Pro Temp Albert Chie to amend a provision of their Standing Rules to postpone for one week, the elections of legislative officers of the Senate.
According to the Senate’s Rules, the Secretary of the Senate, Assistant Secretary, and the Sergeant-at-Arms are elected during the 4th day sitting of a new administration.
The plenary has, meanwhile, instructed the chair on Rules, Order and Administration, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, to prepare a communication announcing the holding of elections for the said posts, and submit said communication to plenary for approval on Tuesday.