Senate on Call, Cancels Annual Break

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(L-R) House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, Senate Pro Temp Armah Z. Jallah and President of the Senate, Joseph N. Boakai

The Senate has been placed on call, after the cancellation of its annual break, an authoritative source has hinted this newspaper. The presidency, under the Executive Branch of government, and the House of Representatives are going for elections on October 10, leaving the Senate and the Judiciary to continue to function as leaders of government. President Pro Tempore Armah Zolu Jallah, who confirmed the Senate’s position last week, said the leadership of the Upper House will be around during and after the polls, and will hold sessions whenever issues that need their intervention arise, adding: “Yes, we are on call and remain ready and alert for anything that will need our immediate sitting.”

The Senate’s decision to stay around comes in the wake of a recent communication (bill) from its chairman on Judiciary, Claims, Petitions & Human Rights, Senator Henry Varney Sherman, calling for legislative and judicial continuity during the election year, starting with the October elections. Quoting Article 46 of the Constitution, which deals with the election of Senators and their placements in categories, Senator Sherman noted that the intent and purpose for legislative continuity shall be seriously manifested in 2017 when the offices of President and Vice President of Liberia and all seats of the House of Representatives shall be opened for contest in the October elections, leaving the senate as the only organ of the political branches of the government (Legislative and Executive) which shall remain unimpaired and fully operational.

According to Sen. Sherman, “This means that the 2017 elections are endowed with political sensitivity, which must be addressed by law; otherwise, there could be a serious void in the governance process and a constitutional crisis could thereby be precipitated. I, therefore, recommend an amendment to Rule 4, Section 2 of the Senate Standing Rules, which provides that in an election year the Senate shall not adjourn sine die on August 31, but that the Senate shall remain in session subject to a call by the President Pro Tempore upon short notice to attend matters of election disputes and to ensure continuity of the democratic governance process in the event that any such electoral dispute(s) precipitates or is seen to precipitate a void in the governance of Liberia.”

He continued that in event of the above, and pursuant to Article 64 of the Constitution, “if the void in governance affects the offices of the President and Vice President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore shall serve as Acting President until the void is removed through a final determination by the Supreme Court and the execution of the mandate of the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 6.9 of the New Elections Law.”

The bill further recommends that the President and Vice President shall not hold their offices in the event of any election dispute up to the third Monday of January of the year (which is Inauguration Day), following the election dispute. Instead, the President Pro Tempore shall thereupon, and as matter of that dispute, be the Acting President. “The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall not hold their offices in the event any of them is involved in any election dispute up to the second Monday of January of the year following the elections in dispute (the date for convening of the regular term of the Legislature). Instead, a Deputy President Pro Tempore shall thereupon, and as a matter of that dispute, be the Acting Speaker.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. VARNEY SHERMAN WANTS TO CAUSE TROUBLE AND BECOME ACTING PRESIDENT IN 2018. Please read the below-listed printed article ” SENATE ON CALL, CANCELS ANNUAL BREAK” and Judge for yourself.

    NewsPolitics
    Senate on Call, Cancels Annual Break
    By J. Burgess Carter – September 12, 20170190

    Pursuant to the Article, SENATE ON CALL, CANCELS ANNUAL BREAK dated today Sept 12, 2017, it appears that Varney Sherman is playing his little chess game to become acting President. Last week, he said he was going to lobby to become the next President Pro Tempore of the Senate in 2018.

    The bill further recommends that the President and Vice President shall not hold their offices in the event of any election dispute up to the third Monday of January of the year (which is Inauguration Day), following the election dispute. Instead, the President Pro Tempore shall thereupon, and as matter of that dispute, be the Acting President. “The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall not hold their offices in the event any of them is involved in any election dispute up to the second Monday of January of the year following the elections in dispute (the date for convening of the regular term of the Legislature). Instead, a Deputy President Pro Tempore shall thereupon, and as a matter of that dispute, be the Acting Speaker.”

    Mr. Varney Sherman, Mr. Emmanuel Nuquay and all other legislatures that are planning on highjacking the Peoples’ choice after the election, be advised that we are aware of your plans. Continue to make your devilish plans while we, (some concern and law abiding citizens of Liberia) are making our plans to come after you all when you start your nonsense. You, Varney Sherman, (the mastermind) accepted bribes and change the Laws to cheat the people of Liberia out of their natural resources and when it is discovered and you are being tried, you refuse to cooperate. Now again, you are planning another evil thing against Liberia. YOU NEED TO STOP IT. The People of Liberia want peace. A word to the wise is sufficient.

  2. CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, ARTICLE 64

    Whenever the office of the President and of the Vice-President shall become vacant by reason of removal, death, resignation, inability or other disability of the President and Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be sworn in as Acting President until the holding of elections to fill the vacancies so created. Should the Speaker be legally incapable or otherwise unable to assume the office of Acting President, then the same shall devolve in order upon the Deputy speaker and members of the Cabinet in the order of precedence as established by law. The Elections Commission shall within ninety days conduct elections for a new President and a new Vice-President

    Therefore, Mr. Henry Varney Sherman, don’t try to trick those uneducated legislatures like you did with your bribery case. You cannot become Acting President. The Speaker of the House will be the Acting President.

  3. can a criminal accusation or one involved in Liberian criminal process jurisprudence suggest the law while subjected to be judged by the supreme court?
    Gone in silence. Answer the Liberian people.

  4. Can such gimmick suffice? Is this law constitutional? Is this what the Liberian law says? Answer the ballot box, the Liberian people or abstain from voting.
    Gone in silence.

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