“We Have to Geographically Balance This Country “

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Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo: "My role is to provide a leadership that will work selflessly with the new government in answering to the calls of our people."

-Sen Zargo asserts; throws hat into Pro Tempore race

The chairman of the Senate Statutory Committee on National Security, Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs has announced his candidacy for the position of President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, which vacancy will be declared next Tuesday.

“There is no better time to unite ourselves, the Legislature, than now; and more besides, we have to geographically balance this country in this critical period of our country’s history,” Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo said at a press conference yesterday in his Capitol Building office in Monrovia.

Zargo told Legislative reporters that his decision to vie for the Pro Temp position was communicated to his colleagues in a letter dated December 5, 2017, but with a caveat that he would not do so in the event that Vice President Joseph Boakai were to win the Presidential election, “because both of us are from the same political sub-division of Lofa County.”

But with the victory of Senator George Weah as the next President of Liberia, Senator Zargo said there was a need for a geographical balance especially with increasing signs that strong candidates are emerging for the posts of Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Pro Tempore of the Senate, all from Southeastern region.

“Despite the Monrovia factor regarding Senator Weah, it is inarguably true that the President-elect hails from Grand Kru County, the same district as one of my opponents in the race,” Zargo disclosed in an apparent reference to Grand Kru County Senator Albert Tugbe Chie.

Senate Zargo underscored the need to correct the mistake of the past government when the President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate Pro Temp hailed from the same county and sub-region.

If elected, Zargo said his immediate priority will be the introduction of basic short, medium and long-term capacity building of the staffers of the Legislature for their effective and efficient services to the Liberian people.

“We will have to re-brand the image of the Legislature by the systems and policies we establish in order to reclaim the public trust and the respect that we deserve as individual lawmakers and collectively as an institution,” Senator Zargo affirmed.

Zargo, a former security expert and a practicing lawyer, told journalists that he is currently holding discussions with institutions such as Center for Security Development and Rule of Law, the International Security Sector Advisory Team, and the UNDP to “conduct training for staffers who will serve as institutional memory, even while we are no longer serving as legislators.”

Strengthening the Senate’s relationship with the other branches of the government, Zargo said, is a demanding obligation if the country must move forward, and that mutual respect for fellow Senators must crown such an effort.

“We must provide a leadership that has the commitment to protect our economy and upholds institutional integrity, and my role is to provide a leadership that will work selflessly with the new government in answering to the calls of our people; a change for the good of every Liberian,” he added.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Positions that require legislative in-housed administration should not be regarded as general and graphic demands of the Liberian people. When you are running for county based positions, rules are not set for your guidance as must be born in the county. But as I see the prior exposure of such positions as speaker and pro tempore which should be decided by the legislators themselves, if there are still some power drunk lawmakers who were not actually elected but placed in by junta, dictatorship, corruption or tyranny still tend to tempt the public to get involved in the internal politics of the capitol administration for the legislature, they looking for trouble. Vote them out. Why were they elected to represent their various counties if they can not even elect administrative positions in the house without getting the attention of the people before making pronouncements? The Liberian people give you the nut and you asking the people to crack the nut for you? If this continues, some Counties, the Liberian people might soon decide to set standards like “0ne must be born in the county to run for a legislative law maker position”. Solve your rule of law internal positions inside the Capitol Building and take the public out of you 2/3rds bills and electives until you have chosen or made the law. If watchers and media from the public have time to come there to here your wish bone debates, they will come. You do not have space for the population. This is one reason why your people sent you to the capital. The public is not the place to make news for person gains. It is the place to tell the actual news to the people. The silent majority will not see, hear or talk to any lawmaker until you get a Speaker of the House and a President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Do not answer my box. The Liberian people waiting to hear.
    Gone to silence.

  2. An anonymous philosopher once said, “Politics have changed of late, which leaves me piqued (irritated) and sad: no longer can I separate the good lies from the bad.”

    “We Have to Geographically Balance This Country” as purported by Senator Zago. The Senator’s reason as alleged, “Is to correct mistake of past government when the President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate Pro Temp hailed from the same county and sub-region.”

    It irritates and saddens me because I cannot really tell whether Senator Zargo’s recent epiphany to “have a geographical balance in this country” is due to his genuine desire to have a constitutional amendment to Chapter V: The Legislature, Article 30: Eligibility to become Member: does not make any reference barring the President, Speaker of the House of Rep. and Senate Pro Temp from hailing in the same county or sub-region.

    The only constitutional stipulation that forbids people from the same county from occupying the two top positions are found in Chapter VI: The Executive, Article 52 (C) No person shall be eligible to hold the office of President or Vice-President, unless that person is: resident in the Republic ten years prior to his election, provided that the President and the Vice-President shall not come from the same County.

    Where was Senator Zargo all these years if he thought there was a constitution flaw which allows all these critical positions (The Speaker-ship, and the Senate Pro– which he intends to contest) to be given to people of the same county or region? Didn’t President Sirleaf and Former Speaker Tyler hail from the same Bomi County or region?

    Laws written in the Liberian Constitution cannot be changed haphazardly to suit an individual political ambition. There are many laws the Liberia public do not like for example, Senators serving for 9 years, & etc…..but we have to follow the right procedures to have these laws amended.

    Lastly, President-Elect George Weah may be of the Kru Ethnic group, but he was born, raised and served as a Monsterrado County Senator, and now he is elected president of Liberia to serve all 15 counties and all people of Liberia.

    We cannot pick and choose laws just to satisfy our political aggrandizement or ego.

    There are too many “Chiefs and no Indians” in Liberia. In other words, there are too many politicians and no builders in Liberia.

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