New Democrat (Monrovia)

15 January 2013

Liberia: House Vows Robust Session

After returning from a long recess, House members have vowed to be more proactive and robust in legislating laws that would affect the lives of the people across the country.

"We would be more robust. We would be more robust than before. We shall be more proactive in ensuring that our constitutional mandates are kept. We have come back loaded to deliver the good to our people," said Rep. Alex Tyler, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He made the statement Monday during the official opening of the second seating of the 53rd legislature at the Capitol.

The first seating of the 53rd legislature was characterised by intense debate over the reformation of the oil sector between the Legislature and Executive branches of government.

There was also a division between the Senate and the House over the oil debate with members of the House declaring a "no retreat in their resolve" to ensure reform in the sector.

But at the formal opening ceremony, Speaker Tyler said the second session of the 53rd Legislature would be "different from the first." He called on the two Houses to work as a team in ensuring the growth and development of the country.

"This session would be second to none in the history of this country. We cannot achieve anything without working with the senate," he disclosed.

At the banquet, Speaker Tyler told a cross session of lawmakers and the public that they must not allow the development activities of the country to be spearheaded by few individuals.

"We must consummate and develop a program during this sitting through budgetary appropriation that allows for the direct implementation of infrastructure projects within our various districts while examining the overall development of the nation.

"Never again shall we allow the development initiatives of government to be driven by the whims and caprices of only a few. Development initiatives should be wholesome and people-driven," he said.

On the issue of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Speaker Tyler noted that the agency was by law amenable to the Legislature. But he pointed to the institution's has failure to submit a plan of action to lawmakers.

"Honourable Deputy Speaker and colleagues, permit me to make this observation which has arisen more than once in private and public discourses. Yes, the GAC is by law amenable to the legislature.

"Despite this amenability, this agency of government has not submitted any plan of action to this body. The public can be assured that the Legislature will step up its authority to ensure compliance," he assured.

He also assured the other two branches of government, the Executive and the Judiciary of their fullest cooperation in steering the affairs of the country.

"It is only through consultation, coordination and cooperation of our activities as envisaged by the constitution that we together can ably and capably serve our people," Speaker Tyler said.

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