House of Representatives Vows To Begin Session On Time
Over many failed attempts to exhaust its agenda and perform the function according to them within the Constitution of Liberia, starting the House’s session on time has been one of the major challenges facing the Bhofal Chambers leadership.
Not until Thursday, June 6, 2019, Maryland County District 1 Representative P. Mike Jurry raised a red flag over the late start of session and inability to exhaust agenda items emanating from the people’s direct representatives.
Currently there are 72 members in the House of Representatives and 1 vacant seat caused by the death of Hon. Adolph Lawrence of District 15, Montserrado County.
Often agenda items are deferred to the next session day causing the inability of exhausting all items due to the late start of session and early end owing to electricity constraints.
The two annexes of the Capitol Building are run on generators that are regulated on stoppage time. Electricity comes on at 10 am and goes off at 3 pm when session is ongoing.
According to Rep. Jurry, the House of Representatives must observe its rule number 2 and subsection 2.1 that borders on Legislative Period and Meeting Place. Subsection 2.1 of the House Standing rules says Daily Sessions of the House of Representatives shall be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week from the hours of 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm, at which time roll call and votes are taken, while Mondays and Wednesdays are set aside for committees meetings and Fridays to be observed for constituency business.
Rep. Jurry mentioned that starting and ending session outside the rule is completely contravenes Legislative practice and undermines development and the forward match of the views and aspiration of constituents.
Rep. Jurry further proposed that the regular session of the House of Representatives be taken to its previous chambers to enable longer discussions aided by the sustained electricity.
“I believe continuing sessions in this manner; agenda items will always be pushed forward. I, therefore, like to propose the following for your discussion: that conduct of session be taken back to the previous chamber and that conduct of session starts at 11am so that at 3pm, the time would cover 4 hours which is requisite for the official sitting of the House of Representatives”, Rep. Jurry communication noted.
Plenary unanimously agreed to conduct session in adherence to its Rule 2 and ensure the proper consideration of time for the exhaustion of business activities of the Lower House.
“We note with serious Hon. Jurry’s communication and we must all act in accordance with our rule in executing our functions”, Speaker Chambers indicated.