Lawmakers go wild on Capitol Hill in demand of 9 months unpaid allowances and benefits

Some members of the National Legislature, especially members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, January 4, 2018 disrupted session in demand of what they called unpaid salaries and other benefits.

The angry representatives say they have run out of patience and need their outstanding allowances and benefits that have not been paid for more than nine months.

The angry lawmakers, some of them outgoing, shouted over their heads at some instances with profanities in demand of their benefits.

It happened barely three hours prior to the certification by NEC of newly elected members of the House.

FARBRIC Radio reporter covering the National Legislature said the Lawmakers agitation lasted for several hours and some threatened to continue should relevant authorities failed to address their concerns.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently issued a proclamation extending the sixth and final session of the 53rd National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia by nine days beginning January 4th, 2018. The proclamation followed the signing of a certificate of extension by members of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the proclamation notes that Article 32 (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia provides that the President shall, on the President’s own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a Regular Session of the Legislature beyond the date of adjournment or call a Special or Extraordinary Session of that Body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.

It acknowledges that there are several unresolved key matters of national interest that require the urgent attention of the 53rd Legislature and is aware of the emergency nature of these matters, which are all geared toward the enhancement of the socio-economic interests of the State and its people.

The proclamation realizes that Cognizant of the limitation of time to discuss these key matters to facilitate the smooth transition from one democratically elected government to another; which requires the participation and involvement of the 53rd Legislature in Session.

“Convinced that the President of the Republic of Liberia shall appropriately take advantage of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia to invoke Article 32 (b) as a sole means to involve the participation of the 53rd Legislature in Extraordinary Session to address these unresolved state matters”, it emphasized. 

Members of the House of Representative in a bid to honor the President’s Proclamation convened in session on Thursday but met stiff resistance by some angry Representatives.

The angry Lawmakers said there would be no session once their just benefits are unsettled.

By: David & Preston

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