Now A Running Mate, Speaker Nuquay’s Integrity as Presiding Officer Questioned

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Outgoing Speaker and vice standard bearer of the defeated UP

Pro-Nuquay Lawmakers Trash Recusal Arguments

Vice President Joseph N. Boakai’s selection of Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay as his running mate for the ruling Unity Party ticket in the October elections has raised concerns about Nuquay’s “integrity” as the Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.

Maryland County District #2 Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers, in a letter to the Speaker, which was debated on Tuesday at the 49th day sitting, argued that he should recuse himself ‘for conscience’s sake’ and to avoid the temptation of compromising the country’s interest.

“It’s a known fact that our Presiding Officer, Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, is now the vice standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, of which the current Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, is the standard bearer, who himself is equally the Presiding Officer of the Liberian Senate, by virtue of his current position.

“I therefore, solicit your support in urging the Speaker to see reason to recuse himself from presiding over the plenary for conscience’s sake and to further avoid temptation of compromising the interests of the Liberian nation, especially in instances where the presiding officers of both Houses have to sit and make decisions on critical matters that require independent minds, objectivity, and/or balances in the best interest of the nation,” Dr. Chambers said.

Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous M. Gray supported Rep. Chambers’ argument and said the House’s Rules and Regulations call for the proper use of power and upholding the dignity of the House.

“No member shall misuse the power given to him/her by law,” Rule 41.1 says. “Members shall not use their powers and duties for his/her own advantage or for committing acts of partiality, but for the protection of the interest of the public and citizens in a just manner,” Rule 41.2 states.

He added that Rule 42 states: “Every member shall, at any place, keep the prestige and dignity of the House and refrain from undesirable acts.”

One pro-Nuquay lawmaker, Nimba County District # 1 Representative Jeremiah Koung, in defense, rebuffed Dr. Chambers’ recusal letter and chided Rep. Gray, saying there is “no constitutional reliance, statute or precedent” to compel the Speaker to recuse himself, adding further that the Speaker should have even sought re-election as Representative in Margibi County District #5 while at the same time as running mate to Vice President Joseph Boakai.

“There is no constitutional reliance to stop the Speaker to contest for both seats – Vice President and Representative – he should have emulated Speaker Paul Ryan of the Congress of the United States,” Rep. Koung said. “We’re copying directly the democracy of the US.”
Several lawmakers, including Reps. Clarence Massaquoi, Garrison Yealue, Numenu Bartekwa, Edwin Snowe, Edward Karfiah, Tokpah Mulbah, George Mulbah, among others, also argued against Rep. Chambers’ argument.

Forty (40) of the 42 Representatives in session voted to trash the recusal letter from Rep. Chambers.

Speaker Paul Ryan

Republican Paul Ryan, who has represented the U.S. State of Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district since 1999, ran for re-election after deciding not to run for the U.S. Senate or seek the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.
Ryan was selected to be the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States on August 11, 2012, and he was also allowed to run for re-election to his House seat.

This isn’t the first time that a sitting member of the US Congress has run for President or, more commonly, Vice-President in the same year that their seat was up for re-election.

Most famously, it happened in 1960 when Lyndon Johnson used his political connections to get a change in Texas election laws that would allow him to run for both seats at the same time.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Our Representatives should now learn to keep the Lower House peaceful. If lawmakers are involved in the change of leadership every time I don’t think it’s in the interest of the state. The argument raised by Hon. Chamber and Hon. Gray has substance. There is no constitutional reliance backing the letter although Hon. Gray asserted rules of that body, but the Speaker has in no way broken rules. Hon. Gray just use these rules to insinuate that the Speaker is in wrong. This Speaker would have been a Speaker and Contest for the position of Representative. Is Hon. Gray and Hon. Chamber telling us that they new that the Speaker was going to use his position to influence the legislative working? I think they should be serious.
    Hon. Gray and Hon. Chambers are know for allegedly directing citizens benefits into personal benefits. It was doing the Ebola time Hon. Gray diverted District#: 8 Ebola fund into his account. He has now gone on the rampage to solicit CDC sentimental votes. He is longer love by CDCians but he is forcing his way because he is meeting staved resistance from the district. For Hon. Chamber, he was in involved into the failure of the Bong County Technical School project. It was illegal for him to have a 5% into the company that was building the school as a lawmaker. Liberians are aware of you scheming tactics. we know the Speaker has one vote and is only allow to vote when there is a tire vote. Don’t get distracted.

  2. This request for recusal, if it is backed by law then fine. But there is no law to that effect. What you need is a law.

  3. The last few paragraphs of the article has place me in a state of confusion. Was Paul Ryan Speaker of the US House of Representative when he was chosen as the running mate to Mitt Romney? Was Lyndon Johnson a Speaker of the House also?

  4. Firstly, the mention of the Paul Ryan’s scenario in this Nuquay case or even attempting to equate it with the case of Nuquay, is an act of YELLOW JOURNALISM AND AN INTENTIONAL MISREPRESENTATION ON THE PART OF EDITOR KENNETH BEST AND HIS UNETHICAL AND VERY SILLY UNPRIFESSIONAL REPORTER.

    For Paul Ryan became Speaker far far far in 2015–nearly four years after been chosen as running mate to Romney. Secondly, being the Speaker of the House of Representatives or of Congress and being a mere representative within the House or of Congress are two different, distinct, and separate, portfolios!

    For the Speaker is third in presidential succession, while a representative a mere elected county official is more than a world away from the national power, province, and jurisdiction, of the office of the Speaker a co-equal to the two other heads of the two other branches of the government!

    And this is inter alia where THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE RECUSAL OF NUQUAY, MORE SO THAT AS RUNNING MATE HE IS IN EFFECT, THE VICE STANDARD BEARER OF THE RULING UNITY PARTY, AND THUS, CO-CONFIDANTE WITH BOAKAI TO THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT!

    This in effect, fundamentally places the national legislature into a dangerous and subordinate position to the Executive Branch – an arrangement which is clearly or prima facie unconstitutional, and TOTALLY ANATHEMA TO THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF CHECK AND BALANCE DEMOCRACY!

  5. It beats the imagination that even if Nuquay’s selfish interest and his unprincipled nature and character (as evidenced on the recording) has blinded him to keeping the vow of oath he took before God and man as Speaker, THE PEOPLE expects him and those supporting him to realize that his being Speaker and at the same time VICE STANDARD BEARER AND RUNNING MATE:

    1.Creates a situation that has the potential to undermine his impartiality as THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, NOT TO TALK ABOUT THE POSSIBLE CLASH BETWEEN HIS NUQUAY’S PERSONAL SELF INTEREST AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST, SINCE:

    2. Indeed this is s situation in which his responsibility to his being “co-confidante “with Boakai to Sirleaf, LIMITS HIS DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WITHIN HIS POSITION AS THE SPEAKER. SO:

    3. NUQUAY MUST RECUSE HIMSELF IMMEDIATELY!

  6. IS MR REP. KOUNG .SAYING THAT THEY ARE LAWMAKER COPING THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT ? THAN WHY YOU ALL CROOKS DO NOT ALLOW THE DURAL CITIZEN SHIP LAW OF LIBERIA FOR YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTER. IF REALLY THAT WHAT LIBERIA OR JUST YOUR COPYING

  7. THE LITTLE THINGS BUT SPEAK VOLUME:-
    There are little things people usually don’t take notice of but speak volume of the kind
    of leader who comes to will do or be like. About House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay,
    he overlooked one of the little things that speak volume of his leadership presented
    him as leader without independence and integrity to the office of the Speaker of the
    House of Representatives upon his election to the speakership. To be a leader as a
    speaker of a whole country, when you are elected, the first little thing should think of
    is your wife, your father and mother and the country. That your either selection or
    election has imposed a very heavy responsibility upon you and how you are going to
    discharge the duties of your office. No quick jump to show you are now a bishop!
    First, you pray to the Almighty God to help you faithfully and conscientiously hold
    the office to His fear and ask Him to direct you in all that you are to do.

    Well, Mr. J. Emmanuel Nuquay either ignored or forgot all of that. Soon upon his
    election as Speaker of the House, he jumped in his car and ran to President Ellen
    Johnson-Sirleaf’s private house to tell her that he had just being elected Speaker;
    without knowing that he was elected in and by another Branch of Government!
    It is not known whether he was a houseboy of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf before,
    but even that his action showed as if that he was. From that anchor now, see all
    those that have been passing; some or those bill from President Ellen Sirleaf did
    not even received hearings at all but just passed; only to see later on that most
    of those bills had some serious concerns that should have been looked at.
    Thus, did Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay compromised his due diligence! Now that
    he is a Vice President designate and co-standard bearer of the ruling party. Will
    he be independent in his thinking and discharge of his duties of the office?

  8. THE LITTLE THINGS BUT SPEAK VOLUME:-
    There are little things people usually don’t take notice of but speak volume of the kind
    of leader who comes to office will do or be like. About House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay,
    he overlooked one of the little things that speak volume of his leadership presented
    him as leader without independence and integrity to the office of the Speaker of the
    House of Representatives upon his election to the speakership. To be a leader as a
    speaker of a whole country, when you are elected, the first little thing you should think of
    is your wife, your father and mother and the country. That your either selection or
    election has imposed a very heavy responsibility upon you and how you are going to
    discharge the duties of your office. No quick jump to show you are now a bishop!
    First, you you pray to the Almighty God to help you faithfully and conscientiously hold
    the office to His fear and ask Him to direct you in all that you are to do.

    Well, Mr. J. Emmanuel Nuquay either ignored or forgot all of that. Soon upon his
    election as Speaker of the House, he jumped in his car and ran to President Ellen
    Johnson-Sirleaf’s private house to tell her that he had just being elected Speaker;
    without knowing that he was elected in and by another Branch of Government!
    It is not known whether he was a houseboy of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf before,
    but even that his action showed as if that he was. From that anchor now, see all
    those bills that have been passing; some or those bills from President Ellen Sirleaf did
    not even received hearings at all but just passed; only to see later on that most
    of those bills had some serious concerns that should have been looked at.
    Thus, did Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay compromised his due diligence! Now that
    he is a Vice President designate and co-standard bearer of the ruling party. Will
    he be independent in his thinking and discharge of his duties of the office as such?

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