Liberian Lawmakers Change Venue, Meet in Parking Lots?

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 23, 2003

As all efforts are being exerted to unseat the NPP-led Government by forming an interim government, members of the National Legislature are seen meeting regularly in their respective parking lots instead of the House Chambers to discuss their fate; our Legislative correspondent reports.

According to the term of duty, the legislature is still functional and legislators are supposed to constitute a quorum on a daily basis to transact business and discuss national issues in accordance with the constitution of Liberia.

However several lawmakers who are seen around the ground floor of the Capitol Building are quoted as saying "how can we work under such constrained circumstances".

As for the Senate Wing which is referred to as the Upper House, there seem to exist a spirit of lack of interest because since the absence of the Senate Pro Tempore Grace Minor, few senators out of the total of 26 come around during their regular discussion in the parking lot.

When the acting Pro Tempore was contacted, he did not comment much but noted that if they could have a quorum, session would begin.

For the House Wing, since the fighting between LURD and the government forces intensified nothing such as simple assembly has been called by the presiding officer.

Besides the press conference held by the House Majority Leader, the House is rather dormant while the pages are seen awaiting their respective bosses in the parking lot.

According to our Legislative source, "they have apparently saved themselves because they cannot bear the "honorable" titles while others who are laboring as them continue to enjoy the benefits".

Our source noted, "right now most people are seeking jobs in the coming government and for us we know that we have worked for our people but what is this job since we have not received salaries for three salaries for three years".

Whatever the case, according to article 33 of the Liberian Constitution, "A simple majority of each House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business but a lower member may adjourn from day to day and compel the accordance of absent members…"

Meanwhile, according to reports gathered, a high power legislative delegation is expected to leave the country soon on an African Parliamentarian tour.

Details are yet unknown about the tour.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.