Liberia: Lawmakers Prepare Removal of Speaker Chambers for ‘Manipulating’ Dual Citizenship Bill, War Crimes Resolution
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
Monrovia – Bhofal Chambers is most likely to face intense pressure from half of the 73 members of the House of Representatives in the coming weeks as they push for his removal as Speaker.
Chambers is accused of circumventing legislative procedural for the passage of a bill after he allegedly manipulated three propositions including the dual citizen bill, which has already been printed into handbill and will go to referendum.
Lawmakers, who are furious with the Speaker’s action, have been holding closed door discussions to plan his removal. Over the weekend, more than 22 of them gathered in the Port City of Buchanan to begin making their move – the kind that will involve massive political maneuvering and bickering.
This is expected to be a long haul and probably a redux of past incidents that also saw the removal of two very influential House Speakers – Edwin Snowe and Alex Tyler.
The Low Down
It was supposed to be a very popular decision. The kind that will allow Liberians make a change to the Constitution: reduce the tenure of elected officials including the President, change the election date from the rainy season to the sunny season and allow diaspora Liberians to enjoy new rights back home.
The representatives had voted for the passage of the three propositions, according to one lawmaker, but would quickly realize that something was wrong. That the restrictions on the dual citizenship were unrealistic and needed amendment and so they requested a recall of the bill so that they would make the corrections.
“We decided that those items be recalled for amendment and it was recalled but it was disappointing to notice that it has been printed into handbill and a gazette,” said one of the 22 lawmakers, who attended the summit in Buchanan, to strategize the ousting Speaker Chambers.
“The issue was with the dual citizenship; specifically the restriction limiting would-be-dual citizens to hold public office. We wanted to allow people with dual citizenship to hold public office or technical positions but Speaker Chamber ignored us.”