15 January 2013

Liberia: VP Boakai Reminds Lawmakers of Patriotism, Others

Liberia's Vice President Joseph Boakai has reminded members of the Liberian Senate to demonstrate patriotism in the discharge of their legislative functions. According to him, doing so will enable them earn the respect and admiration of the general public they represent.

He made these comments on Monday, January 14, 2013 when he spoke at program marking the official opening of the 2nd Sitting of the 53rd Legislature. The program was held at the Capital Building-the seat of the Legislature. The vice president furthered: "The call upon us all is to go more than the extra mile-to bolster our sensitivity, sharpen our focus, and above to always be motivated and fueled by our love for and devotion to our country."

He said. "Only with such display of patriotism can we continue to stay above the variant of misfortune that has befalling other legislative organs-the loss of the respect and admiration of the citizenry." He also reminded the lawmakers to remain civil and avoid abusive languages in their plenary debate.

Vice President Boakai, who is also the President of the Liberian Senate, pointed out that although lawmakers are free to express their opinions and cannot be held liable before a court for what they say during plenary debate, he warned any abuse of such rights will be recalled against lawmakers and read in session.

The president of the Liberian Senate said that this is in line with the rules governing the chambers of both Houses of Senate and Representatives of the Liberian Legislature. He indicated: "Our rules make for smooth and cordial exchanges, even in the heat of the often times recurrent spasms of sharp disagreement on issues. As a sure way to avert distractions, we must always strive to keep within the confines of our own Standing Rules that we devised to guide us; only the upholding of such our Rules can steer us in the manner representative of the honorable citizens we have undertaken to be."

He continued: "For the employment of offensive languages during debates, section 8 {Article 20 of the Senate Standing Rule] mandates that offensive words used by a Senator, who has been called to order, are to be recorded in writing and read at the table for the information of the Senate ." The Liberian Vice President again urged the lawmakers to remain civil when carrying out their constitutional duties at all times.

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