14 July 2013

Liberia: Majority Senators Vote Against Re-Nominated Monrovia Mayor

Mary Broh's confirmation as City Mayor for the City of Monrovia is currently encountering obstacle with many senators opposing her nomination.

At a special session Friday by the Senate plenary, majority of the senators present were against her second -time nomination as city Mayor by the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf after several filed attempts.

The Friday special session started with the reading of a communication from the House of Representative reminding them of a commitment made to them in February of 2013 to declare Madam Broh and Grace Kpaan Montserrado County former superintendent non-governmental materials as a result of her action against them.

The House of Representatives' communication among several things said: "We have learnt that Madam Broh has been re-nominated to the same position she was removed from directly or indirectly as a consequence of our action and is now before you for confirmation. The House wish to remind you of your commitment and count on you for your support as it sees this action as a grave disrespect to the entire legislature."

After the reading of the communication from the House of Representative, a motion was filed by Senator Henry Yallah of Bong County calling for the communication to be open for discussion, then came an intervention from Pro-temp Gbehzohngar Findley who asked for the communication to be sent to committee room in keeping with the rules governing plenary.

Like Findley senators Oscar Cooper and Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh and Margibi Counties also called for seminar action to be taken in support of Pro-temp argument but did not succeed as they were in the minority.

The intervention of Pro Temp Findley and others was denied by majority of the Senators who argued that sending the communication to committee room was not necessary because according to them the purpose of the special session was to discuss the issue.

After the expression of several un-readiness to vote against the sending of the communication to committee room by several senators present, it was opened for discussion for plenary to take action whether or not to live up to the commitment made earlier to their colleagues in the lower house or default.

Speaking during the discussion Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff (CDC-Montserrado County) described Madam Broh as a very fine species and a workaholic, but one who did not respect the National legislature and described her action to obstruct justice as a complete affront to the Legislature and the nation.

Said Doe-Sheriff; "While it is true that the President has the constitutional right to appoint City Mayor, it is also true that the re-appointment of Madam Broh as City Mayor to the City of Monrovia is an affront to the Legislature."

Like Senator Sheriff, Maryland Senator Dan Morias called on his colleagues to live up to their commitment made to their colleagues at the lower house by denying Broh the opportunity to be confirmed for the position of City Mayor.

Said Senator Morias: "I will call on my colleagues that it is the wisdom of the elders to know, that we too one day will need partnership with the lower house to hold on to our communication of support to our colleagues in the lower house."

Other lawmakers promised not to confirm madam Broh because of her early comment against the bible use for confirmation dirty.

Differing with his peers, Senator Isaac Nyenabo(NDPL, Grand Gedeh) called on Senators to take into into consideration the ongoing reconciliation process for which the legislature has approved over United States Dollars Five Million (USD$ 5,000000).

Said Nyenabo: "This country is in transition to sustainable democracy, we have to share our historical bitterness and we need to be careful of Article 29 of the constitution that says there are separate houses with separate functions. If we buy in to this today, it will temper with our independence. The concurrence we did at that instance was enough to deal with the issue of Mary Broh and Kpaan it is not a law for consistency."

Senator Nyenabo also frowned on a phrase in the communication declaring the two individuals non-government materials, something he said violates Article 21 of the Liberian constitution.

Nyenabo referred to by many as the "Master of the Rules could not succeed in his fight as it was already established that other lawmakers were resolve in their decision and nothing could overturn their conclusions.

After several minutes of discussion pro-temp Findley requested Senator Fredrick Cherue(River-Gee) to file a motion that will bring the entire discussion to a close.

Cherue requested for three minutes to consult with his colleagues to come up with a unanimous motion likely to bring the Broh saga to an end. But after the three minutes, Cherue moved that plenary transform itself into a committee to recall the communication of nomination by the president from committee room for further action.

After the motion was filed and seconded, came Nyenabo's moment. The Grand Gedeh lawmaker made use of his colleagues' slight error of not stating that after the motion any other motion for reconsideration should be attempted immediately or not withstanding as per the rules. Nyenabo filed a motion for reconsideration and promised to file that motion on Monday.

As per the rules, any member of the legislature has the right to file a motion for reconsideration if he or she feels disenchanted during a process.

Senator Nyenabo's motion for reconsideration was accepted and brought the plenary to an end, offering a lifeline for Broh, but the former mayor is now hanging on a very thin thread.

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