House Chief Clerk: “I can only say that there will be no next session.”
Today’s anticipated extraordinary session which should have started the “transaction of business” for the House of Representatives and the Senate with majority members constituting a quorum, has been postponed.
Both Chambers of the two Houses will remain closed until a pivotal decision referencing the President’s propositions is harmonized.
The Daily Observer earlier reported that President George M. Weah had delayed the reconvening of the Extraordinary Session on Tuesday, moving it by two weeks to raise the “needed resources”.
Other sources said the deferral of the Special Session would be intended to subsequently reject the reconvening of the Legislature and overrule further inquiry into the alleged “missing L$16 billion.”
Additional sources said the Legislature will reconvene in its Second Extraordinary Session on a date the President will propose, and the Session will be a “sideshow or showbiz” in order to aid the Executive to justify and support its claim that there is “No L$16 billion missing.”
However, others believe that the top agenda for the reconvening of the Second Extraordinary Session should be the ratification of the US$2.5 billion swap deal between the Government of Liberia and the China Roads and Bridge Corporation.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday Bong County District #6 Representative, Moima Briggs-Mensah confirmed the deferral of the Special Session but did not disclose the reason for the rescheduling.
Chief Clerk Mildred Siryon confirmed the cancellation of today’s session but did not say whether an Extraordinary Session has been rescheduled for October 23. “I can only say that there will be no next session,” Ms. Siryon said via mobile phone yesterday also.
Article 29 of the Constitution said the legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature which shall consist of two separate houses: A Senate and a House of Representatives, both of which must pass all legislation, and must be enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia.
As to whether the Senate might begin session today amid the House’s decision to delay, it has not been confirmed up to press time as Senate Secretary J. Nanborlah Singbeh could not be reached.
However, the Constitution provides that a House can begin session ahead of the other House and also neither House can adjourn session for more than five days without the consent of the other as well as both Houses shall always sit in the same city, in accordance to Article 40.
The 1st Session of the 54th Legislature started on the second working Monday, January 15, and ended on Friday, August 31, 2018. In order to discuss and act upon matters of national concern, the Legislature extended its annual constituency break from Saturday, September 1, to Saturday, September 15, 2018.