Liberia: House Chambers 'Empty' Over County Sports Meet Euphoria

House Speaker Bhofal Chambers had earlier said that the body will be vigorously working during this 3rd sitting of the 54th Legislature

The Chamber of the House of Representatives was abandoned with 60 lawmakers absent on Thursday, January 23.

It is not clear whether or not the absence of the lawmakers was for the game as Speaker Chambers had said earlier that they will be vigorously working during this 3rd sitting of the 54th Legislature to meet up with some specific targets in the mining, fisheries and forestry sectors, but undoubtedly, the euphoria of the National County Sports Meet (NCSM) is assumed to have contributed immensely, as many of them were seen at the SKD Sports Complex.

Thursday's session was adjourned prematurely due to lack of quorum, after it was called to order and prayer was offered. Thirty-seven (37) Representatives constitute a quorum in fulfillment of Article 33 of the 1986 Constitution.

"Simple majority of each House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a lower number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members," Article 33 of the Constitution says.

Accordingly, after the roll call, Speaker Chambers said: "with these members present, we have not reached the threshold of a quorum so with that we ask the Sergeant-at-arms to go to the various offices to compel our colleagues to come and form a quorum. We wait for about five minutes and after that, we proceed."

The House's 5th-day session was adjourned subsequently about 40 minutes later when the Sergeant-at-arms reported that the majority of the lawmakers were absent.

Those who were present were Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Representatives Matthew Zayzay, Joseph Somwarbi, Mariamu Fofana, Jeremiah Koung Kanie Wesso, Dixon Seboe, Thomas Fallah, and J. Marvin Cole.

It is the first time in two years that the Chamber of the House of Representatives was nearly 'empty' with the physical attendance of nine lawmakers including Speaker Bhofal Chambers and four lawmakers formally excused.

While it cannot be confidently stated that the lawmakers stayed away from work to prepare for the match on Thursday, the euphoria of this year's National County Meet is compelling that even the President had to leave his office at 2 p.m. to be on time at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex. Interestingly, he is a career footballer and his county of origin, Grand Kru, was taking on Lofa County in the first phase of the game.

After the presidential convoy had passed, no vehicle going to central Monrovia or coming from there to Paynesville could easily pass SKD Boulevard junction as traffic congestion delayed movement for over an hour.

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