Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman
Senate Debates Agenda For Extra-Sitting
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA
MONROVIA, September 3 (LINA) - The Liberian Senate at its first day Extraordinary Sitting of the 4thSession of the 53rd Legislature Thursday held a heated debate on what constitutes issues of national concern for inclusion on the agenda.
The debate was also centered on whether those issues of national concern should only be identified by the President since the legislature’s reason for extending its regular session came as a result of a proclamation from the President.
The argument among the senators was prompted by the recent proclamation by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in which she called on the National Legislature to extend its 4th Regular Session to afford it the opportunity to discuss or act upon matters of national interest.
Upon reading the Senate’s agenda, which was adopted by plenary, Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman filed a motion claiming that although the Senate's sitting was based upon a presidential proclamation, the Senate's discussions should not be centered only on concerns coming from the President.
Coleman noted that other issues of national concern, such as the University of Liberia proposed increment in tuition, should also be discussed by the Senate because it is also an issue of national concern.
Coleman’s argument was also supported by Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman, who also emphasized that during the Senate’s extraordinary sitting the leadership should identify issues of national concern and discuss them.
But Sinoe and Maryland County Senators Milton Teahjay and Dan Morias
countered the two Senators' views.
They argued that including other issues of national concern apart from those proposed by the President will give the senate a workload that will not be completed during the six-week sitting.
This argument was laid to rest when Senator Coleman’s motion to include additional issues on the Senate agenda was defeated unanimously during the ensuing vote.