The Liberian Senate, on Tuesday, Nov. 14, failed to hold a session at the Capitol Building, but rather reportedly went in a retreat in Harbel, Margibi County.
Senior staffers at offices of some ranking Senators who were contacted denied knowledge of a retreat. “That’s news to me,” a staffer begging anonymity, said.
A senior staffer in the offices of Pro Tempore Armah Jallah confirmed that Senators were having an unannounced retreat but attempts to speak with members of the Senate’s leadership through text messages and phone calls all failed.
The retreat comes in the wake of a seemingly slow pace in activities leading to the now-canceled scheduled date of the runoff of the Presidential race, between Vice President Joseph Boakai of Unity Party and George Weah of Coalition for Democratic Change.
The runoff date was canceled after a prohibition by Liberty Party standard-bearer Charles Brumskine was granted by the Supreme Court, which requested the National Elections Commission (NEC) to investigate complaints of electoral frauds and irregularities in the October 10 elections.
Amid public speculations about fear of an interim government due to the slow pace of the NEC’s investigation of frauds and irregularities’ complaints, the leadership of the Senate issued a statement clarifying that there will be no interim administration, citing provisions in the 1986 Constitution.
Since the cancellation of its annual retreat due to the current electoral process, the Senate has conducted four sittings, but failed to convene last week Thursday after an agenda prepared by its Secretariat contained an item for deliberation; although two previous undiscussed agenda items were deferred to that day.
This is the first time that the Senate is conducting a retreat in such fashion and a source confided to the Daily Observer that some very crucial security and other national issues are reasons for the Harbel retreat.
It may be recalled that top brass of National Security Task Force recently convened an executive session with members of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veterans Affairs in the Chambers of the Senate on Capitol Hill.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Stephen Zargo, later briefed Legislative reporters that national security was under control and called on citizens and residents to conduct their normal activities.