13 September 2017

Liberia: Lawmaker Expresses Concern Over Colleagues' Absence From Session

Margibi County District # 4 Representative Ben Fofana has expressed concern over the constant absence of some of his colleagues from the regular session of the House in the last few days. The lawmaker made the observation on Tuesday, September 12, when only 20 lawmakers, a minority, showed up in session at the House on Capitol Hill. Rep. Fofana said a lack of quorum was responsible for the failure of the House to meet to carry out the work of the people. The lawmaker said in a somber mood: "We are here to do the Liberian people's work, but if others decide to stay away, it is not good."

There have been reports that members of the House are requesting from the Executive Branch of Government for extra salaries to allow them to stay on to work for a period of four months. Members of the House should have been on their constituency break since August 30, according to the Constitution, and return in January next year, but the lawmakers signed a resolution not to go for their break because of the pending elections. However, it appears that the Executive and the Legislature have not reached any agreement for the requested money to be paid. Meanwhile, after the House failed to have a quorum, the few lawmakers who were present went for an executive session.

An insider informed this newspaper that members of the House are designing ways to engage the Executive on how their money will be paid. Last week, members of House in a closed session invited the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima Kamara, to justify the reason why the requested money has not been paid.

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