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Liberia: Veteran Civil Society Activist Writes Vice Pres & Senate to Halt Pro Tempore Election, Woes it Unconstitutional or ELSE

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vpbOAKAI08A veteran Liberian civil society activist and Executive Director of Liberia Institute of Public Opinion, LIPO, Mr Christian T L Peah has written the President of the Liberian Senate Vice President Joseph Boakai and the Senate to halt any plans to conduct election for a new Pro Tempore of the Senate.

According to the letter delivered to the Vice President office last Friday, the veteran civil society activist said “I write to bring to the attention of the Liberian Senate the violation of article 47 of the Liberian constitution if election for the position of Pro Tempore takes place at the Liberian Senate as it is being planned to fill the vacancy currently at the Senate due to the defeat of the former Pro Tempore, Gbezohngar Findley in the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial election.”

“The Pro Tempore shall be elected “once every six years” who shall preside over the Senate in the absence of the President of the Senate (Vice President) and other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of two-third majority of the membership of the Senate.”………

 

Full letter……….

 

Old Road Sinkor

Monrovia, Liberia

0886449716/0776250414

 

January 21. 2015

 

His Excellence Joseph N. Boakai

Vice President/ President of the Liberian Senate

Capital Building

Capital Hill

Monrovia, Liberia

 

 

Dear Vice President Boakai:

I write to bring to the attention of the Liberian Senate the violation of article 47 of the Liberian constitution if election for the position of Pro Tempore takes place at the Liberian Senate as it is being planned to fill the vacancy currently at the Senate due to the defeat of the former Pro Tempore, Gbezohngar Findley in the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial election causing the office of the Pro Tempore vacant. Article 47 of the Liberian constitution states that “the Pro Tempore shall be elected “once every six years” who shall preside over the Senate in the absence of the President of the Senate (Vice President) and other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of two-third majority of the membership of the Senate.”

The constitution of Liberia in article 47 mandates election for the Pro Tempore to be held once in every six years, this in no way can be interpreted as election of the Pro Tempore can take more than one time in  a six year term.  There is no need for election of the Pro Tempore to  be conducted for now as the Senate rules mandate.

Article 2 of the Liberian constitution states that “this constitution is the fundamental law of Liberia and its provisions shall have binding force and effect on all authorities and persons throughout the Republic. Any law, treaties, degrees, customs and regulation found to be inconsistent with it shall be void and of no legal effect.” Article 2 of the constitution went further by concluding that “The Supreme Court pursuant to its power of judiciary review is empowerrd to declare any inconsistent law unconstitutional”.

I am citing these constitutional provisions to remind  members of the Liberian Senate that there is a constitutional limit of one time in every six years for the holding of Pro Tempore election.  In so doing, members of the Senate must uphold the constitution which they were elected to protect by ensuring that the pending election for the Pro Tempore does not go ahead but instead, the Senate should find another means of finding a new Pro Tempore other than election process by ensuring the ascendency approach takes effect by way of the most senior officer  in order of succession in the leadership structure of the Senate becomes Pro Tempore, as this will not be a violation of the constitution and consistent with Senate as well.

With the submission of this letter to the Liberian Senate, I will be proceeding to the Supreme Court to file a Writ of Prohibition on the Liberian Senate to prevent the honorable House from conducting any election for the Pro Tempore position at the Liberian Senate until  a final determination is made by the court on the fate of the Pro Tempore position in terms of the way forward.

 

May God the almighty bless Liberia, continue to safe us from Ebola and guide our Democracy.

 

I anticipate your cooperation and understanding.

 

 

 

Sincerely Your

Christian T. L. Peah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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