8 February 2018

Liberia: Senate Warns Presidential Appointees Against Constitutional Violations

Photo: Liberian Legislature
The Capitol Building houses the Liberian legislature

Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh has raised concerns over gross violations of Article 54 of the Constitution of Liberia by presidential appointees already executing functions at their respective institutions without confirmation.

Senator Tengbeh in a letter to plenary called on the Senate to hold a conference with President George Weah to bring to his attention the attitude of some of his appointees who are ignoring several processes, including confirmation by the Senate and commissioning by the President.

He made specific reference to the Mayor-designate of the city of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee.

"Fellow colleagues, it was carried on various media as a turning over ceremony at the MCC last Friday, where, the Mayor-designate assumed power from the HR," Tengbeh said in his letter to his colleagues.

Meanwhile, Senator Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County, Jonathan Kaipaye of Grand Bassa, and others have called for confirmation of appointees to be done expeditiously.

Sen. Wesseh declared that the Senate failed to take action on an executive order issued by the Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf which, he said, was acknowledged by a press statement by President Weah mandating all Human Resource Directors (HR) to supervise the affairs of their respective ministries and agencies.

For her part, Grand Bassa County's Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence called on the Senate not to confirm any nominee who has not appeared for a confirmation hearing and is already executing their functions.

But Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-Bo Brown wants his colleagues not to base their judgment on "mere accusations," but should instead do an extensive investigation of the matter before any other action.

Following extensive debate on the matter, Senate Pro Temp Albert Chie deferred the matter for decision by the leadership.

Article 54 states that the President will nominate and, with the consent of the Senate, appoint and commission cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts

It states further that the President will nominate, and with the consent of the Senate, appoint and commission superintendents, other county officials and officials of other political subdivisions, members of the military from the rank of lieutenant or its equivalent and above, and marshals, deputy marshals, and sheriffs.


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