Twelve out of the 15 newly elected Senators were certificated over the weekend with the National Elections Commission (NEC) describing it as a testimony of the power transferred to them by the people of Liberia.
Those certificated as incoming Senators were George Weah for Montserrado County; Jewel Howard Taylor, Bong County; Francis Paye, River Cess; CommanyWesseh, River Gee; Milton Teahjay, Sinoe County; Jonathan Kaipay, Grand Bassa County; Marshall Dennis, Grand Gedeh County; Albert Chie, Grand Kru; Steve Zargo, Lofa; J. Gbleh-bo Brown, Grand Gedeh and Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County.
Apparently the NEC had designed the program to certificate all 15 senators-elect as Chairperson Jerome Korkoya announced that the gathering was to certificate all winners of the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election as Senators of each of the 15 counties.
However, three of the Senators-elect were not given certificates in respect of the Supreme Court’s stay order placed on the certification of Grand Cape Mount County’s Senator-elect, Varney Sherman, Senator-elect, Jim Tornolah of Margibi County and Bomi County’s Senator-elect, Morris Saytumah.
The Justice in Chamber, Associate Justice, Philip Banks had earlier received a writ of prohibition from some defeated candidates for which an injunction was placed on the certification process of the three individuals. The complaint derived from allegations of cheating and irregularities among other things.
The induction of the new senators is scheduled for January 14, and it is uncertain how long the high court will take to adjudge the matter but all 30 Senators must be seated to receive the President’s annual message on the fourth working Monday in three weeks.
Since the ceremony was intended for all Senators-elect, Chairperson Korkoya admonished them to run but with caution for the power entrusted to them goes with a great deal of expectation and responsibility noting, “Expectation to change their living conditions by the laws you make and the programs you undertake.”
He defined responsibility as one that in each passing day one needs to be reminded that there are people out there who are counting on them to move their lives forward and urged them not to disappoint their electorates and or constituents.
In the meantime, he also used the occasion to shower gratitude on all those whose support made the just ended mid-term election successful and recognized the support from national government and international partners and the timely provision of the needed funds to the Commission.