Liberia’s Problem: ‘No Judiciary, Legislative Independence’ – Sen. Brown
Monrovia – Senator Gbleh-Bo Brown of Maryland County has said that Liberia’s current governance problem is the lack of independence in both the Legislative and Judiciary branches of government.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
According to him, the Legislature that is charged with the responsibility of exercising oversight is headed by individuals, who are members of the ruling party, which is only loyal to the Executive.
The Maryland County lawmaker, in his statement at a forum on ‘Good Governance’, stressed that because the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Bhofal Chambers, and the Pro-tempore of the Senate, Sen. Albert Chie, are staunch members of the ruling establishment, and by that it limits their ability to exercise oversight.
Commenting further, Senator Brown stated that Liberians have learned bitter lessons for many years as a result of bad governance and that these lessons should not only serve as deterrence to bad governance but should give Liberians many reasons why they need to promote and implement needed reforms in the way and manner in which leaders govern.
“The establishment of the Governance Commission that is constantly reviewing and making recommendations for the promotion of good governance is an opportunity we need to maintain and take advantage of,” he added.
Still on good governance, Brown, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Good Governance, stressed the need to strengthen integrity institutions established in post-conflict Liberia in support of the practice of good governance.
“The free press is one of the major prospects in our governance system. We must continue to encourage free speech and freedom of the press.”
Another Speaker, Representative Larry Younquoi claimed that since President Weah assumed power, there have been several constitutional crises; adding: “Simply because the practice of good governance is being ignored.”
“We have had a number of constitutional crises simply because we are not prepared to carry on good governance. Where there is by-election and you don’t hold it on time that is bad governance. If we sit and keep quiet because we don’t want someone to feel bad than we don’t worth the salt we eat.”
The tough-talking Nimba County lawmaker believes the economic suffocation the country is faced at the moment is because the leaders refused to accept each other’s views.
“The economic suffocation we face today could have been averted if immediately after the 12 years of Unity Party regime where all was still fresh we had listened to each other. Issues come on the floor you raise your hands once you are singled out for not singing to the tone of the leadership they block you from speaking.
“We saw one big practice of good governance when Liberians gathered on the Capitol Hill to express their grievances. If you see the leadership of the Legislature mounting the podium with the President at a political rally then you know where we are heading.”