Senate Wants Governor, Others Barred…Civil Society Groups Denounce Action

By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie

If the House of Representatives concur (agree) with the amended Act passed by the Senate to deny the  Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to contest political offices while serving, this means Dr. Joseph Mills Jones cannot contest any electable post, and even three years after his resignation.   According to the Bill, which serves as an amendment to an Act that authorized the establishment of the CBL on March 18, 1999, states “The Executive Governor of the CBL and members of the Board of Governors shall be prohibited to contest political office(s) while serving in their respective offices and shall not be qualified to contest any electable office within three years consecutively after the expiration of their tenure and in his/her resignation from the Central Bank of Liberia.”

The Bill, if sponsored by Gbarpolu County Senator, Armah Jallah, Sumo Kupee of Lofa County with Peter Coleman of Grand Kru, is aimed at correcting mistakes made years back when relegating functions of the CBL.

In another version of the amended Act, the Senators voted overwhelmingly that a bill of impeachment to remove a member and Board of Governors will be prepared by the House of Representatives for either misconduct in office, gross breach of duty or conviction of a felony among others.

Part IV Section 13(a) of the Act also declares that the Legislature shall determine whether or not an impeachable offense has been committed by the Executive Governor or a member of the Board of Governors of the CBL, while 13(b) says where such a determination has been made, the legislature shall take the necessary action of impeachment in keeping with the relevant provisions of the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

After the passing of the Bill, some political observers described the Senate’s decision as “fear” hanging over the Capitol Building because many Liberians have seen Dr. Jones as a potential threat to some of those lawmakers who may have political ambition to contest the highest seat in 2017 General Elections.

One group named and styled “Conglomeration of Civil Society Organizations” told the INQUIRER in a release that the Senate has ignored the huge economic impoverishment that continues to deprive thousands of Liberians instead the Senate has willfully resolved to prioritize a proposition that is of absolutely no significance to the transformation of the ordinary Liberian.

The statement signed by Kesseley Q. Barzah, representing Concern Students Movement of Liberia, Jallah Barmony of the Progressive Students Alliance of Liberia and James Pyne of the Patriotic Intellectuals of Liberia said they strongly believe that this harbored intention is self-serving, unpatriotic and therefore exposes the naked political ambition by some Senators, evident by one half of the Senate seeking re-election with subsequent mere presidential ambition.