Senate Passes Approximately 60 Bills

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Senate Pro Tempore, Albert T. Chie

— Promises to remain engaged with women’s advocates for 15 seats

President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie, has announced the passage of approximately 60 bills, during the 2nd Session of the 54th Legislature.

Of the total number of bills passed, 45 consisted of Senate’s engrossed bills, 15 bills that originated from the House of Representatives.

During his annual session’s closing statement, Pro Tempore Chie recalled the Senate’s concurrence with the House of Representatives on the passage of the 2019/2020 National Budget of US$526 million, which marked a significant decrease over the 2018/2019 budget.

“It is our belief that this is a realistic budget that can be executed with predictability and efficiency, to prevent or minimize the perennial problem of budget shortfall; this budget will also facilitate the acceptance of our country into the program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which could eventually bring much more benefit to our country,” Chie assured.

Senator Chie further said that the annual wage bill in the budget was cast at approximately US$297 million, which he termed as “very, very much difficulty.” He also thanked workers in the public sector of the country for their understanding shown with the salary harmonization process; “by this process, the salaries of some of our public servants were reduced, some were raised, while some were untouched.”

Additionally, he said, realizing the current economic situation faced by the country, “the sacrifices of civil servants and the importance of joining the IMF program, the Senate has approved a reduction in its budget by approximately 30%; the plenary has mandated that the chair on the committee of Ways, Means, Finance and Budget provide details of the Senate’s budgetary adjustment to the public.”

“We wish to ensure and assure our citizens that the Senate will work, along with the House of Representatives and other branches of the government, towards prompt actions that will help stabilize the economy, which has been struggling since the Ebola outbreak,” Pro Tempore Chie further said.

On the number of legislation acted on during the 2nd Session, he named the financing agreement between the Liberian government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank in the tune of US$50 million to begin the construction of a segment of road from Barclayville, Grand Kru County, to Sinoe County, which he said is the beginning of a network of roads planned for the Southeastern part of the country which has not benefited from infrastructure development for many years.

He also mentioned the Senate’s agreement for the construction of two cement plants as well as another agreement for a flour mill which, he asserted, will help create jobs for the citizens.

Senator Chie deliberated on three constitutional propositions to go for a national referendum on October 2020; the Dual Citizenship Bill, Reduction in the Tenure of the President, Vice President and Members of the Legislature and adjustment in the date of General Elections from October to November.

“During the discussions, there was a suggestion to allot 15 seats in the Senate solely for women. While this male-dominated Senate generally believes in affirmative action, it was a unanimous opinion that allotment of 15 seats for women alone is not the appropriate remedy for the political empowerment of women, especially in the face of economic constraints facing our country; nevertheless, the Senate has resolved to remain engaged to find alternatives through statutes for women’s political advancement,” the Pro Tempore said.

During its sitting, “the Senate also passed an amendment to the 2014 Petroleum Exploration and Production Reform Law, to resurrect the upstream petroleum sector and facilitate the holding of a petroleum bill within the next few months.”

1 COMMENT

  1. I am really having trouble to understand or comprehend why the politics of women is being presented like, women are not allow to partake in politics in our republic or Liberia. Everyone is just as equal to anyone by our laws and no man or woman is above any of our laws that governed us in our republic or democratic system. It really sometimes make me feel so dissappointed about the way people are suggesting and demanding women involvement in our political arena like they have been banned or cast out from entering politics. The doors to politics in Liberia is widely open to every Liberians and not just men. Why are we giving women special clause by allocating or reserving special seats to be occupied only by women in our democratic system? Is that being democratic to start with? I will say no because, that’s totally detrimental to the system of competition and reasoning by opinion. If we take this direction as being prescribed and advocated by some, then we should also reserved same amount of seats for the physically challenge group in Liberia which involves, the blinds,dumbs,deaf and handicaps to get them equally represented in the decision making of our nation. We need to stop this nonsense in the name of women. If a woman decide to politics in Liberia, she has the absolute rights like any other man including the physically challenged to excercise her right to any elected position in Liberia. If we go about reserving X amount of seats only for women, I think that’s being unjust and unconstitutional to men and rest of the groups in Liberia. We should be talking about making elected position in Liberia a bit more like one willing to sacrifice for the people and most of all Liberia. These elected position are just one way out of poverty in Liberia and this is what we should discussing on how best to cut the lavash spending by government on these so called elected officials in Liberia. Infact, owning a home should be a prerequisite to any elected positions in Liberia so why should government be giving housing allowance for? Most of our elected officials live within 7 to 10 kilometres from their offices, why government is allocating 400 gallons of gasoline for transportation for this distance to our elected officials for? How and why can one justified this madness? These are just few of the reasons why politics is getting attracted to both men and women. Let us adjust the salaries, cut off the benefits, like providing cars, gasoline, housing allowance, vacation with 50% of your salary and not 3 to 4 months vacation. The demands for public office and elected positions in Liberia will shrank sharply because it now boils down to sacrifices from individual to the people and Liberia as a unit. These elected position has become source of exiting out of poverty in Liberia and this is what we should be discussing and not providing reserved seats for women in our elected positions in Liberia. Again and I must confessed that, the doors are widely open to everyone for politics in Liberia. If anyone thinks, be it man or woman or the physically challenged has what it takes to do the job, then present yourself before the people and they will decide your faith through the ballot box. J. Ark

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