Monrovia – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast are all part of a regional body the Mano River Union and the four countries are collaborating in many areas including security, commerce, and others.
There is an existing Mano River Youth Parliament which is supported through budgetary allocation by the Government of Liberia serving as a link between activities of youths from Liberia and other Mano River Union Countries.
Defense Ministers of the Mano River Union countries also have a common collaboration where they share security information to avert any possible threat to the region.
The House of Representative is now looking to replicate the same by forming the Mano River Union Parliament where lawmakers from the four countries will look at the legislative deliberations on major issues in their respective countries and work together on regional matters that require legislative enactment.
Members of the House of Representatives from Liberia have already voted unanimously to establish the MRU parliament with a mandate by the Speaker of the House of Representatives J. Alex Tyler for a few lawmakers to work on holding discussions with parliamentarians from the other countries to form the regional legislative bloc.
The team headed by lawmakers including George S. Mulbah of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and Bong County and Mariamu Fofana of Lofa County are currently in the Ivorian Capital, Abidjan holding talks with their Ivorian counterparts for the formation of the regional legislative body.
“We were warmly received and will be holding discussion with the Speaker of the Ivorian parliament on Tuesday. After our discussion, when we return, we will brief our colleagues in Liberia about the formation of this important body”, Representative Mulbah told FPA.
According to the lawmaker, in 2014 a discussion were held with lawmakers from Guinea and Sierra Leone and now is the time to bring on board the Ivoirians.
“Many times there are issues that require regional legislation and when this MRU parliament is formed it will serve as the bridge between all four countries in having such legislation that will affect all four countries ratified easily by lawmakers in the respective countries due to the collaboration”, he said.
Currently there is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament which is a much larger body having representations from all ECOWAS member countries. Also there is the Pan-African Parliament also known as the African Parliament t which is the legislative body of the African Union made up of lawmakers from African countries.
Many regional bodies have associations of lawmakers including East Africa which has East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). The formation of such body could assist with fast ratification of regional agreements and treaties such as the West African Power Pool which is looking to provide electricity to the regional countries.
Liberia is currently benefiting from the West African Power pool which is providing electricity to Maryland, and the South Eastern counties and has extended to Nimba County.