Liberia: Deputy Speaker Wants House of Representatives to Vote By “Roll Call”

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CAPITOL HILL, Monrovia — Amid the lack of electronic voting device, the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia, has been encouraged to strengthen public trust and display governance through transparent voting.

On Thursday, 30 June 2022, members of the House of Representatives voted unanimously to forward a communication of the Proposed Amendment in Rule 19 of the House’s Rules and Procedures.

The Proposed Amendment is written and sponsored by Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa and Grand Kru County District #2 Representative. The co-sponsors are Rep. Abu Kamara, Rep. Melvin Cole, Rep. Dixon Seeboe, Rep. Dorwohn Gleekia and Rep. Thomas Goshua respectively.

In his communication, the Deputy Speaker said, as Liberian democracy Is being recognized as one of the leading democracies in Africa, it is incumbent upon the lawmakers, as the People’s Deputies to continue to make advances and make the Legislature, which is appropriately referred to as the the First Branch of Government, to be more more transparent and accountable to the people, they serve.

“The amendment being offered with this letter allows for official recording of votes of the Members on all bills, budgets, concession agreements And similar instruments,” the Deputy Speaker wrote.

“Recording our votes for the permanent record we signal to Liberia and the world that we are prepared to be judged by the current and historical record of our position on our principle function of lawmaking. This amendment will also allow vigorous monitoring by our constituents and will serve the rebranding and reform agenda to which we are committed.”

“Please accept, Hon. Speaker, our assurances of highest regard as you execute the duties with the confidence which we have imposed upon you.”

The Liberian Senate, on the other hand, since the beginning of the 5th Session in January 2022, has stopped the “Aye or Nay” voting and has begun voting by record – roll call’s voting.

The House of Representatives may change the narrative — or procedure in voting and join the other House — the Senate by “Roll Call,” in two weeks, based on the report of the Committees on Rules, Order and Administration and Judiciary.

In his communication, the Deputy Speaker is proposing the following amendments.

“19.1 — All substantive votes of the House shall be recorded and kept in the archives and posted in electronic format where available. When a bill or budget is being passed, a treaty or concession is being ratified the vote shall been taken by roll call and recorded electronically or by voice announced on the floor of the House.”

He added: “19.4 — The signature of any member on a resolution on any matter cognizable before the House shall be recorded as an affirmative vote of the member.”

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