VP Bokai: “We Cannot Afford Distractions”

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The President of the Liberian Senate, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has admonished current and incoming members of the Liberian Senate that the state of affairs of the 4th Session must summon the best out of them.

Addressing the opening of the first sitting of the 4th Session of the 53rd Legislature in the Senate Chamber yesterday, Vice President Boakai warned Senators against being distracted.  He cautioned that they cannot afford distraction, adding, “The sacred trust placed in each of you must be upheld.”

The President of the Senate continued: “Let us remind ourselves as I have always reminded you, that this is the Upper House; the House of Elders. Actions and utterances from here should accordingly be as elevated as they are virtuous.”

During his January 14, 2014 message to the 3rd Session, Vice President Boakai brandished the possibility of a scenario in which the Senate could end up ushering in a dominance of new faces to take up most of the 15 open seats.

And true to his somewhat prophetic hint, and evidenced by prevailing declarations and pronouncements, only two of the 15 seats were retained, those of Senators Jewel Howard-Taylor (Bong) and Prince Yormie Johnson (Nimba).

Vice President Boakai challenged the Senators, saying “we have a lot more to do. We should not proceed from here without acknowledging that that as the Secretary of the Senate’s record shows, the majority of those Legislations received in our 3rd session still linger in committee rooms as we enter upon our 4th session.”

Ambassador Boakai recalled that the Senate entered the 3rd Session with 65 legislations in committee rooms, “while today we turn the door knob open on this 4th Session with 72,” adding that the enormity of challenge in the 4th session is more as manifested in the critical nature of some of the legislations that await their disposition.

Among the 72 challenging legislations in committee rooms are: the Land Act, National Youth Act of Liberia 2013; An Act to establish the National Infrastructural Plans; An Act to Amend the Telecommunications Act of 2007; the proposed Pension Bill, and an Act to Establish the Fire-Arms and Ammunition Control Act of Liberia.

In a related development, 12 of the15 Senators-elect yesterday presented certificates of election and credentials to the Secretary of the Senate, which is in accordance with Chapter 2, Rule 1 Section 1of the Standing Rule of the Senate.

Senators-elect from Bomi, Margibi and Grand Cape Mount Counties however, were absent from the program due to injunctions filed against them resulting from the just ended Special Senatorial Elections.

In accordance with the dictates of Senate plenary, a motion was proffered and seconded that the certificates and credentials received by the Secretary of the Senate be referred to the Committee on Rules, Order & Administration, which will examine them and submit a report to the plenary for further action.

Meanwhile, according to Secretary of Senate J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, the act of inducting the newly elected Senators is predicated upon the report from the Committee on Rule, Order & Administration, which may happen today during the first official plenary sitting of the 4th Session.  

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