The re-election rate of members of the House of Representatives for the past elections (2005 and 2011) records 34% being successful and 64% failing to return. With 12 months to the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections, House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay has fears and says he has lost sleep because he suspects many of his colleagues may not be re-elected.
Last week Thursday, during an acquaintance meeting with members of the Legislative Reporters Pool (LEGISPOL) in the House’s first floor conference room, the Speaker said among other strategies and objectives that continuity (Re-election of representatives) is a paramount issue.
The 48-year-old Speaker said continuity leads to efficiency and effectiveness and it is an overriding capacity builder.
He also named reconciliation as a critical factor, and towards achieving that goal, the Speaker formally announced a 4-day Legislative Retreat, in Ganta, Nimba County, from Wednesday, Nov. 2-5.
The Speaker noted that the widely publicized 2nd Extraordinary Session has not been finalized with the Executive.
He further named image building and coordination as some of the known strategies to rebrand the House of Representatives after over four months internal wrangling to unseat former Speaker J. Alex Tyler.
Speaker Nuquay stated that reconciliation among the members of the House of Representatives “is to make amends…bridge the gaps…and let bygones be bygones in order to do to the people’s work.”
He said lawmakers should do away with ‘self-interest’ to begin their image building and focus on their primary functions. It has been gathered that the House Press and Public Affairs has been tasked to drive the image building process of the House of Representatives.
“Coordination between and among the branches of government is key because it makes us achieve the developmental goal…which is the integral part of our exercises,” Speaker Nuquay said.
Sources in the office of the Speaker say he will embark on strategies up to 2017 to ensure he has a good chance of being re-elected, including the post of speaker.
The Daily Observer has gathered that among the 73 members of the House of Representatives – only six Representatives are not seeking re-election. They include former Speaker and Bomi County District # 2 Rep. J. Alex Tyler; Grand Gedeh County District # 2 Rep. Morais Waylee; Grand Kru County
District # 1 Rep. George Wesseh Blamoh; Lofa County District # 5 Rep. Moses Y. Kollie; Maryland County District # 1 Rep. James Biney and Nimba County District # 3 Rep. Samuel Woleh.
Since 2005, incumbents seeking re-election to the House and Senate had appalling turnout rates of about 29.4% owing to unfulfilled development promises and several factors that sitting members of the Legislature failed to complete for their people. Other factors include failure to establish district offices and employ adequate staff both in the Legislature and in the Districts and overlooking obligations to attend special events and pay regular visits to their districts.