Liberia: Rotunda of the Legislature Taken Over By Water

Monrovia — The rotunda of the Capitol Building continues to leak and less attention has been given to the menace which occurs every rainy season.

The embarrassing leakage is now forcing visitors and employees of finding other means of entering the building instead of using the main entrance.

The last major renovation carried out on the building was in 2014.

The Capitol Building was originally constructed and dedicated in 1956 during the tenure of William R. Tolbert, Jr. as vice president of Liberia and president of the Senate, while Richard A. Henries was Speaker of the House. Edwin Morgan served as president pro-tempore of the Senate.

In 2018 President George Weah dedicated two newly constructed annexes of the Capitol Building. It was one of the developmental projected he inherited from the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government.

The construction of the additional annexes was undertaken by the People's Republic of China as a gift to the people and government of Liberia, amid the lack of adequate office spaces for lawmakers and their staff. The project cost US$12.9 million.

The two new annexes contained 40 offices on the wing of the House of Representatives and 20 offices for the Senate. The annexes also include an additional chamber for the House and the Senate, in addition to a joint chamber and offices for staff of the legislature.

The Legislature of Liberia is the bicameral legislature of the government of Liberia. It consists of a Senate - the upper house, and a House of Representatives - the lower house, modeled after the United States Congress. Sessions are held at the Capitol Building in Monrovia. Legislature of Liberia is considered one of the three branches of government based on the Article III of the Constitution of Liberia that stipulates all three branches ought to be equal and coordinated based on the Principle of checks and balances.

The House of Representatives contains 73 seats, with each county being apportioned a number of seats based on its population. The Senate has 30 members, with two senators, who won the first and second position, serving from each county elected based on popular vote. Both House and Senate seats are filled through direct election, with candidates who gain a plurality of the vote-winning their contested seats. House members serve a term of six years and senators serve a term of nine years, with sitting members allowed to seek re-election.

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