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Liberia: Senate Likely to Reconsider Judgment to Deny Three Central Bank Nominees’ Confirmation

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Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has reliably been informed that the Senate is reconsidering its decision on the rejection of the three Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) nominees for the Board of Governor post.

However, it is not clear what is prompting that decision. But Senator Johnathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County last week filed a motion for reconsideration on the Senate’s previous decision to reject the nominees.

Most of those in authority at the Senate, including the Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Banking and Currency, Senator Marshall Dennis of Grand Gedeh County are tightlipped over the reported latest decision. On Tuesday, July 9, a motion for reconsideration from Senator Kaipay was read and taken to Executive (secret) session to be tested.

In an inquiry to ascertain what the outcome of the motion was, Senator Dennis of Grand Gedeh County refused to comment. He referred this newspaper to the Secretary of the Senate, who was unreachable.

The Pro-Tempore Albert Chie also did not respond to numerous text messages sent him in an attempt to get a response.

In Sen. Kaipay’s motion for reconsideration, he argued that the nominees have the necessary qualifications and experiences to hold the positions nominated for. Kaipay asked his colleagues in the Senate to reconsider their decision to confirm them for the posts nominated for.

Senate Previous Decision

The Liberian Senate last week took an unprecedented action to deny three nominees of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). They are Richard Dolley, Timothy Thomas and James B. Dennis. All of them were nominated by President George Weah to serve on the Board of Governors of the CBL.

In the Senate Banking and Currency Committee’s report to the Plenary, they recommended that the three nominees be rejected confirmation by the Liberian Senate. Their reason: “They are not abreast with current day economic realities.”

Nominees Dennis and Dolley are retired governors of the CBL and to the present Senate Committee, the two men are out of touch with contemporary economy realities in the country.

“Due to the downturn in the economy status right now, we want more proactive people to be recruited that would be robust in dealing with the situation. The situation we have now requires policies that would resuscitate the economy in the shortest possible time otherwise the masses of our people will continue to suffer.

“We need more robust people right now, people with the knowhow to their fingertips to be able to join the Central Bank to see how we can turn the wheels. Due to the Committee’s cross examination, we don’t want to believe that these nominees have these characteristics. They may have experiences in banking but they don’t have the expertise to deal with contemporary issues.” 

Sen. Coleman’s Confession

The reported Senate’s U-turn comes days after Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman admitted that they have done confirmation of presidential nominees not based on merits, rather on sympathy and influence. Speaking Monday, July 8 during the confirmation hearing of former Senator Blamo Nelson, Ambassador-designate to Japan, Sen. Coleman said in many cases Senators have had to “swallow bitter pills to confirm nominees”. 

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