Liberia: Sen. Saah Joseph Refuses to Take Late Doe-Sheriff Seat In Senate Chamber
Monrovia – The Liberian Senate has ended a period of mourning for their fallen colleague Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, a ceremony which was climaxed by the removal of the black cloth placed on her seat as a sign of mourning for her death.
As per practice, Senator Saah Joseph – the senator of Montserrado County – is supposed to take occupy her seat.
But Senator Joseph declined to take the late senator’s seat in the Chamber of the Senate.
Interestingly, Senator Joseph’s, who by ascendency is Senate number one of the county, decision drew laughter from his colleagues.
Joseph said he will turn over his seat to the next senator-elect in the pending by-election.
Senator Joseph won the seat of Montserrado County in a 2018 by-election replacing President George Weah, who was elected President in 2017.
The late Senator Doe-Sheriff, popularly known as ‘Lady Zico’ for her female soccer prowess when she played the sport earlier at a younger age, was elected to the Liberian Senate in 2009 on the ticket of the then opposition CDC in a by-election to fill the seat made vacant by the death of another CDC incumbent, Hannah Brent.
But she later grew increasingly disaffected with her party’s direction and in May 2014 resigned her membership from the CDC.
Excerpt of her resignation letter addressed to then CDC Party Chairman and current Minister of State in the Presidency Nathaniel F. McGill, Senator Doe Sheriff reads: “…The Party will never achieve its initial goal of forming an institution with the sole purpose to emancipate our people, the downtrodden included, from the dungeon of poverty to the celestial heights of a decent life through participatory democracy with the imperialistic tenets currently entrenched in the party.
“We have made several attempts to change this course internally, but all of our efforts proved futile as I even suffered physical harm as a result of my stance in reconciling the country while serving as chairman of the party…”
Free then to serve as an independent moderate in the Liberian Senate, she went on to sometimes caucus and support legislative bills proffered by the ruling former ruling Unity Party (UP).
The fallen lawmaker was passionate about legislation around women’s issues and in the lead up to the Presidential and General Elections in 2018, called for more female participation.
Meanwhile, the Senate is still mourning the death of colleague Edward Dagosseh of Grand Cape Mount County, who was recently laid to rest in his home county