Monrovia: The First Sitting of the 54th National Legislature of 2018 appeared unachieved as several bills for Legislative enactment were locked up in committee room over the period.
Both Houses (House of Representatives and Senate) officially resumed the 2nd sitting of the 54th Legislature in Monrovia after the annual break in accordance to Article 52 of the Constitution, with a call for stronger collaboration with all branches of government to ensure the betterment of the Liberian People.
Though the Legislature enacted crucial laws for the betterment of the country and its people including the Land Rights Act, which gives customary landowners and other sole ownership of land, the Decentralization Act also detailing the workings of government basic services throughout the country and other bills, there seems to be much work needed for the House of Representatives with the excess baggage in committee room.
Currently, there are 53 bills in committee room at the House of Representatives; key among them is the Liberianization Policy, Key Statutory Districts and Clans in various counties to be named and established, among others. Among those bills, 30 originated from the House of Representatives, 4 bills from the Liberian Senate and 5 bills from the executives, while other documents include 10 petitions and 4 resolutions.
According to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, the Legislature especially the Lower House must work to ensure that those bills, petitions and resolution are properly scrutinized according to Legislative best practice for prompt plenary’s action.
Speaker Chambers underscored the need for Legislators to maintain the public’s trust in the discharge of their duties in enabling the respect and principle of representative democracy and responsible citizenship.
He pledged the Lower House commitment to ensuring that the government’s pro-poor agenda is achieved which he believes will affect the lives of Liberians through adequate lawmaking, positive programs and decisions.
“Let it be made abundantly clear that this Legislature will ensure that harmony and coordination with the other branches of government will be a priority; at the same time, it will be our duty to fully support the Pro Poor agenda under the leadership of Pres. George Weah and we will be prepared to offer suggestions for alternative programs”, Speaker Chambers indicated.
During the 1st sitting in 2018, the House of Representatives recorded 121 sittings in which that body passed 26 bills and 8 resolutions.
Key among them was the impeachment resolution of Justice J’aneh which Speaker Chambers stated was in conformity with the laws of Liberia.
“It is no doubt evidenced by the fact we as a Legislature are peacefully coexisting with the other branches of government, conscious of our constitutional margins conducting government business with the optimum acceptable standards of respectability”.
“During the year 2018, the House of Representatives was presented with some hard facts on a sitting Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, which detailed abuse of office and several violations of the principles upon which the laws of our land are abused, having exhaustively deliberated on the matter the House of Representatives proceeded to pass an impeachment bill by a majority vote and forwarded same to the Liberian Senate for Trail”, Speaker Chambers noted.
The House of Representatives in its first sitting also conducted 13 public hearings, recorded 57 regular sittings, 43 executive sittings, 6 special sittings and 15 extraordinary sittings, among others.