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Cooper Defies Senate, Refuses To Offer...
Date Uploaded: Jul 03, 2017

Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper


Cooper Defies Senate, Refuses To Offer Apology For “Abusive” Comments

By Wilfred Gortor

MONROVIA, July 2 (LINA) - Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper could face reprimand from the Liberian Senate for refusing to apologize to his colleagues for allegedly uttering abusive comments in Plenary on Tuesday, June 27.

Cooper had earlier had an outburst with his colleagues for ratifying a loan agreement between the Government of Liberia and the World Bank.

Because the Senator could not easily have his input into discussions that led to the ratification of the agreement, he was allegedly heard by one of his colleagues calling them "useless Senators."

The Senate will entertain a formal complaint from Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh, who reportedly overheard the Senator Cooper spew the invective.

The Senate will make a determination at its next session on how to proceed with the matter which was only exacerbated after majority members of the Senate voted to compel Cooper to write an apology.

Rage permeated the floor of the Senate on Thursday when it was discovered by the body that Cooper did not serve the office of the Secretary his letter of apology, although it was captured on the day's agenda that he should have done so.

"I don't know what they want from me, they have not written me, they have not given me due process," Cooper, who boycotted an Executive Session told journalists in the corridor of the Capitol Building.

The Margibi Senator, who has become famous over time for his usual outbursts in Plenary as well as his radical political advocacy which most often ignite discord, has alluded to Article 42 of the Liberian Constitution as his reliance for what seems to be yet another legislative controversy that is already being interpreted by some political actors as a "pre-electoral gimmick."

"No member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried as a result of opinions expressed or vote cast in the exercise of the functions of his office," Article 42 of the Liberian Constitution states.

It further reads: "Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending, going to or returning from sessions of the Legislature except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace. All official acts done or performed and all statements made in the Chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged, and no Legislator shall be held accountable or punished thereof."

Although both Houses of the Legislature are entitled to carving their own rules, but whether or not Article 42 is subject to further interpretation as claimed by some senators, Cooper has argued that he owes no one an apology.



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