Liberia: Senators Miss Ellen

Senators at the Liberian Legislature on Tuesday expressed their frustrations over the prevailing economic situation and the way President George M. Weah is conducting the affairs of the country in a closed section.

The senators were vociferous blaming President Weah for running the country in isolation, while praising former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her constant consultation either by regular visits or telephone calls on issues affecting the country. "They actually praised former President Sirleaf," one source said.

Sources within the corridors of the Senate Wing at the Capitol Building told this paper Tuesday night that not one senator defended the Weah's administration style of governance, accusing the President of surrounding himself with a tiny clique or cabal who dictates to him on how to run the country even though, they did not say who are those that make up the cabal or tiny clique.

One source said a surprise outspoken senator at the closed section was Senator Varney Sherman who voiced his displeasure over the Weah's administration and allegedly said that he will not sit and allow himself to be blamed by the Liberian people for the failing state of the nation's economic.

"The senators want the public to know where they stand," another source said in a serious tune.The source said the senators' discussion was around a recent aide-memoir signed between the Senators and President Weah during a meeting in May this year to address critical issues confronting the nation to which the president is yet to act thereby creating hardship and unnecessary tension in the country.

The aide-memoir outlined several issues affecting the country which include the June 7 protest organized by the Council of Patriots or COP, Justice and Security, Economic Situation, the status of the investigative report on the alleged loss of LD16 billion, and the investigation of the expenditure /used of US25 million to mop up excess Liberian Dollar from the market as well as the UN's Letter regarding management of funds for development.

Other issues raised in the aide memoir were the political and social issues-proposal for a national conference, information from the government to the people, withdrawal of the tenure bill, assets performance of government officials and a request to include in government qualified professional of other political persuasion.

Members of the COP made several demands on during the June 7 peaceful protest requesting that President Weah sack both his Finance, Development and Planning Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank of Liberia or CBL Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray for their alleged role in the US25 million mop up exercise among others although no report has directly implicated the two men.

The COP also frown on the current governance style of the President and request that the President takes actions that will remedy the country's current economic woes. Inflation in the country now stands at 28%, as banks here face liquidity problems unable to pay depositors who have gone to withdraw certain amounts.By Othello B. Garblah

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