Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has exposed in the public space what could have been handled confidentially, after withholding it in mind for months without a solution.
Vice President Taylor, the second person in command after the President, says she has been facing difficulties with some members of the Executive Branch of government, especially as regards budgetary allotments due her office as Vice President.
In a letter to Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, VP Taylor wrote: “Honorable President Pro-Tempore and Members of the Liberian Senate, I am constrained to write this letter to inform you of the continuing and seemingly intentional circumstances surrounding financial obligations due in support of my duties as Vice President of the Republic and President of the Liberian Senate. Last year, I had the privilege to meet with members of the Liberian Senate to inform them of the difficulties I was undergoing with some members of the Executive Branch; as it related to budgetary support for my office and the need for their intervention.”
The Daily Observer had reported earlier the absence of the Vice President from the opening session of the 3rd Sitting of the 54th Legislature, quoting an insider that the Vice President’s decision to stay away was a protest action.
According to the letter, the Vice President said after writing the Senate, it was agreed that members of that body would intervene to make things better. “Unfortunately, I have patiently waited without any word, and the situation has since not improved. I am saddened to inform you, as elders of our Nation, that the situation remains that bills due my office from 2018-2019 are still not paid and the operational expenses which I needed for the effective running or functioning of my office (Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia), during 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 budget years have not been paid,” said VP Taylor in her letter.
The letter, which content presents an agitated connotation, informed the President Pro-Tempore and members of the Senate that the situation has left the Vice President without proper security arrangements for her safe movements and without the ability to provide necessities for her office.
“Currently, the security vehicles, including 2 bullet proof vehicles, needed for my movements have still not been provided to my detail. As a result, I have been unable to leave my home over the past 3 weeks. I am therefore constrained to inform this Honorable body that due to the constraints described, I am unable to attend to my duties during this opening of the 3rd Session of the 54th National Legislature 2020; until these constraints are attended to,” said the Vice President.
VP Taylor then stressed that she was duly voted into the office of the Vice President and she should be empowered to perform her duties as other officials and offices that are being supported. She went on to say in the communication to the Senate that it is her responsibility to inform the Liberian Senate when such a situation confronting her continues to exist; expressing the hope that it will claim the attention and intervention of the Senate to act.
At the end of her communication, Vice president Taylor attached her financial record to the letter for the Pro-Tempore’s perusal to know how grave the situation is.
The stressful experience expressed in the Vice President’s letter to the Senate, accompanied by ‘protest’ action, has got pundits postulating that she, like her predecessor, former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, might just be a”a racing car parked in the garage.”
As the political fever intensified during the 2017 election campaign, then-Senator Taylor quipped in one of her political statements that: “I will not be a parked car in the garage,” suggesting that the remark, originally made by then Vice President Boakai, was a sign of weakness.
However, since taking over two years now, the relationship between the Vice President and her superior, President Weah, has been less than cordial, a plausible factor in the current financial plight of her office. It can also be recalled that the President complained in 2018 that the Vice President was making trips abroad without informing him.
The Vice President on the other hand, has for sometimes now been complaining of demeaning treatment from the Executive that her office was not being supported and benefits that must come to her were not forth coming.