Liberia: ANC Gbarpolu Naatehn calls fellow senators puppets

One of the ranking members of the Liberian Senate has described the 53rd Liberian Senate headed by Gbarpolu County Senator, Senate Pro Tempore Armah Jallah as ‘weak and heads of committees are puppets that dance to the tune of Pro Tempore Jallah’s dictatorial practices.

Gbarpolu County Senate Daniel Naatehn at a news conference in Monrovia over the weekend said it is unfortunate and shameful for leaders that were elected by their respective counties to be micro managed by the political head of the senate.
Senator Naatehn said that committees’ chairpersons at the senate have on several occasions failed to operate independently instead, await the pro tempore to decide the final approach of their committee’s report.
He wonders how those statutory committees’ chairpersons were elected saying because they lack independence allowing the pro tempore to dictate to them.

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“The pro tempore decides who to be confirmed or denied and the head of that committee sits there and take order from the senate pro tempore as though he appointed them,” he said.
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“The Liberian Senate is weak and I wondered those that are heading committees’ their function how they got elected to strategic committees,” he said. Naatehn, a stalwart of the ruling Unity Party alleged that confirmation of presidential nominees especially commissioners, paramount chiefs, clans’ chiefs and lower positions in government comes from pro tempore office without the imposition of the committee. “The pro tempore decides who to be confirmed or denied and the head of that committee sits there and take order from the senate pro tempore as though he appointed them,” he said.

But responding to the accusation, Pro Tempore Jallah who termed the statement as false and misleading, warned that Sen. Naatehn withdraws his statement and make an open apology or the plenary of the senate will decide the next course of action against him.
Sen. Jallah said if Sen. Naatehn feels that the senate is weak and compromised, the best option is for him to resign his position as senator. He noted that it makes no sense for Sen. Naatehn to be part of a group of puppets and weak system of governance.
Pro-tempt Jallah pointed out that the senate is not weak instead, the upper house is poised to nurture the young democracy. Also providing clarity on the allegation, the Chairman on Internal Affairs, Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee said at no time Pro Tempore Jallah dictated to his committee. “We were elected to that committee and that the Pro Tempore does not have the power to remove me, so why should I be micro managed as alleged by our colleague? That far from realities,” he said. source: E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Othello B. Garblah/New Dawn

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