Monrovia - Representative Moses Kollie, Chairman on the House Ways, Means and Finance Committee and chair of the opposition Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) of speaker Alex Tyler says he is in no violation to occupy his current position and instead wants the President to take action against government officials who violated the Code of Conduct by partaking in the just ended Unity Party convention held in Gbarnga, Bong County.
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, he said, he is a Liberian and a member of the Legislature who has the right as any other Liberian or Lawmaker to be a chairman of a political party and or as a member of the legislature to be chair on the ways, means and Finance committee.
Representative Kollie, formerly of the ruling Unity Party, resigned early this year due to what he described as policy differences with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, then standard Bearer of the Unity Party. He believes that there is no conflict of interest in the two positions he now occupies.
“I don’t see any conflict of interest,” he said. “For a matter of fact, I do not make the decision—there are 73 members of the House of Representatives and 30 Senators. The decision on the budget is made by the hundred and three lawmakers.”
The Executive on Wednesday issued a statement following a cabinet meeting, pointing to a long held allegation of budget manipulations between some officials of the Executive and the Legislature, with the Executive threatening officials against budget manipulation.
The Executive Mansion release stated: “Cabinet, has carefully reviewed the status updates on key benchmarks in the areas of roads, ports, water & sanitation, education as well as Task Force performance, covering agriculture and agro-processing and manufacturing and business support; threatened punitive action against any member of the executive involved in budget manipulation and mandated a vigorous and aggressive Sector Ministers-led Town Hall meeting education and information-dissemination campaigns”
Multiple sources have hinted that there is an ongoing beef over the current draft 2016/2017 national budget with fears that Speaker Alex Tyler, a ranking member of the newly found Liberia People Democratic Party who appointed the party Chairman Representative Moses Kollie as head of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee of the House of Representative might use the budget to raise campaign money with the Executive Wednesday threatening its officials against budget manipulations
Speaker Tyler is an official of the LPDP, a party that has already shown its seriousness to push for the Presidency in 2017, showcasing its financial power by purchasing and parading over 14 brand four wheel pickups.
After the formation of the party, the Speaker appointed the Chairman of the new party, Lofa County District#5 Representative Moses L. Kollie as head of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, the committee responsible for reviewing and analyzing the national budget before making recommendations to the plenary for passage.
A joint committee of the Ways, Means and Finance from both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate normally reviews the budget to ensure that the two bodies are already abreast of the budget for fast passage into law.
Article 34 (d) of the 1986 constitution gives the Legislature the power to make appropriations for the fiscal governance of the country.
Code of conduct disappointment
In his capacity as chairman of an opposition Party, the Lofa County Lawmaker said, he’s baffled that President Sirleaf encouraged a violation of the very law she fought to pass.
He called on her to, with immediate effect and will dismiss officials of government who were elected at the Unity Party recent Gbarnga Bong County convention.
“This is a bad example a very serious concern that needs attention for a sitting President to encourage violation of a law. If anyone will think they are untouchable in this country let me make it clear no one is above the law and we as citizens and political parties will compel the President to act in line with the law,” Rep. Kollie said.