Liberia: Independent Legislative Caucus Warns Speaker, Deputy Speaker of 'Hypocrisy' in Salary Cut

-Also Threatens Dethronement, But Speaker's Office Rubbishes Allegation

Ahead of the applied cut (harmonization) in salary and allowances and pending an approved National Remuneration Standardization Act of 2019, aimed at compulsory cuts in salaries and allowances of employees from the three branches of government, the Independent Legislative Caucus (ILC) has warned Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Deputy Speaker Prince Moye against hypocrisy in taking advantage of having their own respective budgets.

In rather strong and rebellious language, four members of the ILC told journalists that if the harmonization or cut fails to affect the salaries and allowances of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, there will be preemptive and revolutionary strikes which will include mobilization of Liberians to protest and their subsequent dethronement of the two from their leadership positions in the lower House.

The chairman of the Unity Party (UP) Legislative Caucus, Montserrado County District #17 Representative Hanson Kiazolu; Montserrado County District #4 Representative Rustonlyn S. Dennis, co-chair of the ILC; River Gee County District #3 Representative Francis Dopoh, member of the ILC; and Margibi County District #3 Representative Ellen Attoh-Wreh, newly recruited member of the ILC, made the assertions Wednesday, October 10 in the office of Rep. Kiazolu on Capitol Hill. Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah was in attendance, as was Montserrado County District #13 Representative Edward Papay Flomo, another newly recruited ILC member, who later excused himself to attend to pressing engagements.

"We will resist and there will be a revolution if we find out that the Speaker Chambers and Deputy Speaker Moye did not experience cut in salaries and allowances as we have all agreed upon. We have agreed to 31% cut also our colleagues from the other side as well as the Justices and Judges. The civil servants are experiencing cut; so it should also go with the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker," Rep. Kiazolu said.

'We believe that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should have announced their cuts as the case in the heated debate in executive session. If we find out that the Speaker is still making his US$40,000 allowances and salaries without cut, there will be a serious revolution," Rep. Kiazolu indicated.

Rep. Attoh-Wreh briefly said the cut in salaries and allowances are a national endeavor and they agreed to the cause but, if the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shy away from the cause, there will be serious repercussions.

The ILC co-chaiperson, Dennis, said if it is realized that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are not cut in salaries and allowance upon what they have agreed upon then it's a "shithole."

She noted that all of them have experienced cuts from US$8,500 to about US$5,400 in allowances and if the two fail to take the cut, she will solicit signatures for the removal of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, just as she had solicited 52 signatures for the Resolution to Establish the War and Economic Crimes Court.

River Gee Country District #3 Representative Dopoh, in a calm but rigid tone, vow to lead the campaign not only for a peaceful protest but the uncompromised removal of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, and because of that, they are concluding their investigations as to whether the Speaker and Deputy Speaker refused to comment on their cuts as President George M. Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and Senate President Pro Tempore openly did.

Meanwhile, Speaker Bhofal Chambers has not reacted to the comments by members of the ILC although an unnamed source in his office has rubbished the claims by the ILC,

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