MONROVIA: The famous adage ‘do unto others as you want others to do unto you’ is glaringly taking center stage on Liberia’s geo-political scene with elected politicians across the country now reeling from the negative effects of how they once governed the people over years in the corridor of political power.
The December 8 Mid-term Senatorial Elections in Liberia has left many political pundits to hold the view that the process was not just a lesson learned for all losers but also a clear signal to all who are emerging as winners to serve the supreme interest of the ordinary people as they watch their colleagues exit their respective Senatorial seats at the ‘political theatre’ on Capitol Hill.
Ahead of the December 8 Special Senatorial elections, several sitting Senators of the 54th National Legislature were optimistic of another overwhelming victory after executing nine-year mandate in their respective capacities as the people’s Deputies.
Many Senators, who viewed the electoral process as a smooth ride for them, bragged before the holding of the polls, that owing to their successful development works, coupled with the cordial relationships with their respective constituents; they were sure of tsunami victory over their various challengers.
Unfortunately, with latest results coming from the National Elections Commission relative to the Special Senatorial Elections across the country and the two bye-elections in Sinoe and Montserrado Counties, it is evident that twelve Senators from across the fifteen political sub-division of the country are now packing off the Upper House of the nation’s bicameral Legislature as a result of the electorates anger vented against them for miserably failures on the part of the senators to fulfill multiple and sugarcoated campaign promises made to their various constituencies in the past.
Those affected from the people’s action on December 8, 2020 Senatorial polls include Margibi Senator, Oscar Cooper; Bong Senator, Henry Yallah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC); Nimba Senator Thomas Grupee of Movement for Progressive Change (MPC); Grand Cape Mount Senator Victor Watson of Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC). The election made Watson as shortest serving Senator in recent history who ran on the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) ticket.
Others are former Pro-Tempore Gbarpolu Senator Armah Jallah of People’s Unification Party (PUP); Bomi Senator, Sando Dazoe Johnson of Collaborating Political Parties (CPP); Lofa Senator, George Tengbeh of the CDC; and Grand Gedeh Senator, Alphonso Gaye did not contest due some personal reasons. Also dropped from the Upper House of the Liberian Legislature are Rivercess Senator, Dallas Gueh of CDC; Maryland Senator, Dan Morais, an independent candidate; and River Gee Senator Matthew Jaye. Apart from Senator Gaye who opted not to contest in the December 8 polls, reports say only three of the incumbent senators are expected to return to the Capitol Hill as the fate of the Grand Kru County Senator, Peter Coleman is hanging in the balance with reported electoral violence due to alleged votes fraud in that Southeastern county of Liberia.
In view of the above, coupled with the potential ripple effects of somewhat lackadaisical behaviors by many elected public officials, Liberians eyes are now set on the new breed of Senators who were elected on December 8, 2020 to rise up to the occasion and serve the best interests of the people, especially the vast majority of ordinary citizens who are the custodians of state power.
Speaking in an interview with this paper Thursday, some Liberians stressed that the election results are a strong message to politicians who are bent on playing on the intelligence of the people.
“I have no regret over the way I voted during these elections; I think with these results from across the country, our leaders in high offices will pay attention to some of the challenges affecting us,” James D. Doe angrily mentioned.
Doe believes that three Senators who retained their respective seats especially those opposition lawmakers will hold the Weah-led government’s feet to the fire to address hard-hitting economic situation that most Liberians face at the moment across the country.
It remains unclear whether the new breed of senators backed by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County, Senator Nyonblee Kangar- Lawrence of Grand Bassa along with others will help design laws and policies aimed at restructuring the Senate as it relates to strengthening the credibility and integrity which have come under spotlights in recent years.
For instance, many of Legislature’s unpopular practices and decisions in the past include the approval of at least 66 concession agreements that an internationally acclaimed auditing firm, Moore Stephens, said only two of which met the minimum legal benchmarks.