13 September 2017

Liberia: Over Lack of Quorum - Lawmakers Abandon Session Again

Photo: Liberian Legislature
Members of the Liberian legislature

The House of Representatives Tuesday September 12, 2017 abandoned the 60th day sitting of the 6th session of the 53rd National Legislature due to lack of quorum.

Of the 73 lawmakers in the lower House, only 24 members were present, 40 absent, six distanced, one sick, and two members sent letters of excuse.

Since September 1, 2017, the constitutional date for their annual break, this is the second time in a row for members of the House of Representatives to abandon session.

Constitutionally and as enshrined in their rules and procedures, the National Legislature takes annual break September 1 each year.

According to our reporter, the lawmakers were reportedly asked by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to continue with session until December in an effort to speed up with some developments and other national issues.

However, it is alleged that the lawmakers are reluctant to convene session over the reported failure of arrangements as how their benefits and allowances will be received. Majority of the lawmakers are contesting for reelection in their respective districts, and such decision would politically jeopardize their quests and as such, they want to be financially capacitated as they instruct their lieutenants to canvass for them while they are away for the extraordinary session.

At the same time, some of them who are not in right standing in their respective districts are eagerly waiting for such extra benefits during the extraordinary session.

Already some of the lawmakers are vigorously campaigning in their districts for the impending October 10, 2017 elections in the country.

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