Liberia: Senate Pro-Tempore Submits Proposal to Amend Senate Rules on Confirmation of Presidential Nominees; Wants Both Hearing and Vote Done Publicly

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MONROVIA – In keeping with his commitment and promise to institute reforms at the Liberian Senate, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie has written the Plenary of the Senate proposing an amendment to Rule 66, Section 2 of the Senate Standing Rules on Executive Session on nomination discussion and vote.

Currently, confirmation hearings of presidential nominees are conducted in open session with decision taken in executive session. The new rule as recommended by the Senate Pro-Tempore will require hearing and confirmation decision to be done in the open.

Last week Monday at its reopening, the President Pro-Tempore announced that the Liberian Senate will be instituting landmark legislative reforms aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and enhancing legislative proceedings.

In his statement, Senator Chie revealed that the Plenary of the Senate decided to minimize Executive or closed-door sessions in a bid to foster democracy. “It is said that wherever there is even a small cloud of darkness, Democracy suffers,” Sen. Chie asserted.

According to him, Executive and closed-door sessions are now held only for issues of national security and to vote during confirmation of presidential nominees. He disclosed that there are plans to amend the Senate Rules to vote publicly during confirmation.

Still on voting, Senator Chie said votes of Senators are now recorded and published for crucial bills and instruments so that the constituents know how their Senators vote on issues.

At the same time, the Senate has stopped citing concessionaires and international organizations to Plenary and Committee Rooms. He said, they will rather cite heads of superintending agencies. For example, citing the Ministry of Agriculture rather than inviting Firestone.

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