Liberia: Botoe Kanneh Inducted into the Senate
MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate on Thursday received and inducted three additional members of the Senate who faced legal challenge over elections dispute from the December 8, 2020 special senatorial elections.
Senators Botoe Kanneh of Gbapolu County, Willington Geevon Smith of Rivercess County and Jeremiah Koung of Nmba County were inducted officially on Thursday.
Senator Kanneh induction makes it two the number of female candidates in the Senate. She joins Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence who has been the only female voice among 29 men.
In her induction speech, the Gbarpolu Senator Senator requested some policy decision on the country’s forestry sector. According to her, the forest is where she’s from and improving policies will be part of her agenda as a Senator.
As expected, she didn’t fall short of thanking the women of Liberia who stood by her during the legal battle. As a former market woman who was selling bush meat, she believes there is a need to review laws governing the forest sector. “I want my colleagues please help me review the law on forestry because that’s where I came from, I know the problems in that sector,” she said.
She won the Senate seat as an independent candidate. Her victory came after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling dismissing a challenge to her victory by the ruling CDC candidate, mandating NEC to go ahead with Madam Kanneh’s certification.
I will not be a cheering squad of the ruling party
Meanwhile, Senator Willington Geevon Smith of Rivercess County was also inducted. For him, he won as an independent candidate which make him more accountable to the people of his county. He vowed not to bow to political showmanship or Legislative filibustering by some opposition lawmakers but will not also be cheering squad for the ruling government.
“The people of River-cess County sent me here as an independent Senator. I am here to work with all of you. The seats in this chambers are not arranged based on political parties representation but County representation. I am not just here to be part of the drum of the opposition community, equally so I am not here to be a cheering squad for the ruling establishment,” Senator Geevon Smith said.
Koung on reviewing election law
In his induction statement, the Nimba County Senator warned that if nothing is done to review the election law, the 2023 election could be chaotic. “If we do nothing about the elections law this country will run into chaos in 2023. Let’s look at the elections law and solve the issues in them”