Senate Faces Tough Leadership Election


It all started rosy for Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence for a white ballot in what would be the second comeback of a female. In 1997, Senator Grace B. Minor became Liberia’s first President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate. Sources in the corridors of the Senate  have reportedly told the Independent Probe Newspaper (IPNEWS), the looming victory of Senator Karnga-Lawrence began gloom after a last minute’s push by a majority bloc of 18 Senators for a Gbehzohngar Milton Findley comeback. Unimpeachable sources told IPNEWS that there is going high enthusiasm among members of the majority bloc for a Findley victory for the President Pro Tempore come Monday, January 15,2024. A source told IPNEWS that outgoing Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie, Bomi Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillion and Grand Gedeh County Senator Zoe Emmanuel  Pennoh, are the ringleaders of the Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence camp being outnumbered by a majority bloc leader by former House speakers Emmanuel Nuquay  and Alex Jenaka Tyler. The majority bloc lead lobbyist- Maryland County James Banney is said to be seeking additional signup before Monday’s vote. IPNEWS understands that there were series of overnight meetings by various factions of the Gbehzohngar and Nylonblee camps into early Saturday morning at the famous Bella Casa Hotel and the newly furbished Hotel Resorts of Senator James Banney. The coming-in of Senator-elect Gbehzohngar Milton Findley into the race now seems to darken the chances of Grand Bassa Senator NyonbleeKarnga-Lawrence, particularly a twist to the Unity Party’s quest to secure both houses of Legislature. In a related development, there were overnight jubilations at the Farmington Hotel Resorts adjacent the Roberts International Airport where members of the Fonati Koffa’s majority bloc are currently camping to strategize ahead of Monday’s much anticipated victory. IPNEWS under cameras captured pockets of consultations of various groups comprising both outgoing and incoming members of the House of Representatives. The intensity of the camp became apprehend following a fiasco meeting between President-elect Joseph N. Boakai and presumptive winner for the speakership Cllr. J. FonatiKoffalas Sunday. According to reports, close associates of the President-elect Boakai, the poor attendance was triggered by an earlier meeting President-elect Joseph Boakai and outgoing Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative FonatiKoffa for his withdrawal from the Speaker’s race barely seven days to a much-anticipated heavy contest. The meeting according Unity Party sources ended after President-elect, Joseph N. Boakai prevailed on Deputy House Speaker Cllr. Fonati Koffa to lay-down his quest for the speakership and focus on retaining his Deputy Speaker post. A source narrates that President-elect Boakai insisted that high figures within the Unity Party were uncomfortable with his being Speaker and has opted a candidate of the Unity Party in person of Representative Richard N. Koon. At this point, according to sources, Cllr. Fonati Koffa declined the proposal and assured president-elect Boakai that there was nothing to fear as the majority bloc of the incoming House of Representative were committed to ensuring all platform of the Unity Party is fully executed as it incorporates major ingredients for Liberia’s development agenda. Koffa, according to the source, further intoned that by accepting to back-off would signify a betrayal of confidence of the majority block most of whom are patriotic in their support to see Liberia become a beacon of hope once more among the committee of nations. “Look I can tell you this much, the call by the President-elect Boakai for FonatiKoffa to back off the race for the speakership is tantamount to backsliding from his earlier commitment.” “I recalled in December 2023, the President-elect and Cllr. Koffa met in the U.S., and he assured the Deputy Speaker of his fullest support for the speakership but why is there a swift turn around after winning?” A source wondered. The offices of both the President-elect Joseph N. Boakia, and Deputy Speaker FonatiKoffa have not responded to an IPNEWS inquiry into this latest revelation. This week, Montserrado District No. 10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah sounded a warning calling on president-elect Joseph N. Boakai to desist from the ugly past which sunk the George Weah government, particularly concept of turning Liberia into a one-party state when the President, Speaker, and President Pro-tempore’ were all executive members of the CDC. On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, meeting called for by President-elect with outgoing and incoming lawmakers at this Rehab residence to discuss the incoming Unity Party Legislative agenda later turned into a pro Richard N. Koon support meeting sparking uncertainties with the conspicuous absence of less than a majority of both outgoing and incoming lawmakers. At of the start of the meeting, President-elect Joseph N. Boakai called on lawmakers especially the incoming lawmakers to vote officials of that body persons that would support his Legislative agenda, sparking concerns and uneasiness as to the real intend of the meeting. Political pundits opted that they would have hope that the president-elect Boakai would have line-listed his presumptive Legislative Agenda seeking lawmakers their support in accelerating the development agenda of Liberia, but on the contrary the meeting turned into a pro Richard Koon vote appeal prompting a walkout of some lawmakers both old and new Representatives. According to sources attending the meeting, President-elect promised to dish out US5000.00 to each of the 73 lawmakers as funding for his inaugural celebration in the country’s 73 electoral districts. The president-elect also reaffirmed his desire to grade all roads to standard in his 1st 100 days, including decentralizing the distribution of medical supplies through the regional hubs and central medicine store of Liberia. Our reporter later saw other lawmakers most of whom are members of the Fonati Koffa majority block reluctantly walking late into the meeting. Those lawmakers present at the Boakai called meeting include, Bomi County: Obediah Varney, and Sam Jallah; Bong county: District #1 James Kolleh, and Foday Fahnbulleh District #4; Gbarpolu county: Mustapha Waritay; Grand Bassa County: Issac Bannie, District #2; Grand Gedeh County: Jacob Debee; Cape Mount County: Mohammed Dosii; Grand kru: Nathaniel Bahway; Lofa county: Augustine Chiewolo; Montsorrado county: Rugieyatu Barry, Prescilla Cooper, Prince Toles, Richard koon, and Sekou Konneh; Maryland County: Austin Taylor and Anthony Williams; Nimba County: Samuel Brown, Nyahn Garsaye Flomo, Nehker Gaye, Samuel Kogar, Musa Bility, and Saye Mianah, District #4; Rivercess County: Alex Grant; River Gee county: Alexander Poure; Sinoe County: Sampson Wiah. IPNEWS reporter also claimed observation of the dashing out of brown envelops to some joyous lawmakers who declined commenting on what was contained in those envelops. Already, the Unity Party has put forth Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence as the presumptive candidate for the seat of Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, as it galvanizes support for Richard Koon at the Lower House for the Speakership. Ahead of the meeting, a release by Mr. Mo Ali, Political officers, in the office of the President-elect, stated the call meeting by the President-elect was to brief old and incoming lawmakers of his Legislative agenda but unfortunately turned into a fiasco after it was clearly seen that it was to influence vote for the Unity Party presumptive candidate Richard Koon. Latest report coming out of camp of Deputy Speaker, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Kofa seeking his bid for the Speakership of the 55th Legislature is said to be getting more support as Bassa  District Five Representative, Thomas Goshua and other lawmakers have given their full backing to the Grand Kru County Lawmaker. At the same time, controversial Montserrado County District No. 10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, on Thursday, January 11, fired another bomb vying to support the opposition ticket for next week’s Speakership election. Representative Kolubah stated that there were sufficient evidences to show that President-elect Joseph N. Boakai dash-out thousands of dollars to loyalist of Representative Richard Koon for votes ahead of next week’s election of a Speaker for the House of Representative. Kolubah frown on the exchange of cash as a return to the ugly past of the Weah’s administration, which was condemned by all Liberians, including international partners. He stated that such monies could have gone to give micro-loans to suffering Liberians through the banking system rather than giving huge sums to another group of hungry and wicked Liberians at the detriment of the ordinary people. The District No. 10 Representative said he has joined the camp of Deputy Speaker FonatiKoffa and they all are now camping on the platform on ‘Rescue team’ yet the incoming government cannot be doing something different which the Liberian people was against the Weah Administration for, stressing it’s time that President-elect Boakai know that he needed to be very transparency to the Liberian people who voted him overwhelmingly. The Montserrado County Representative stated that he’s going to vote for an opposition lawmaker for the Speakership in person of Cllr. J. Fonita  Koffa come Monday, January 15,2024. “Under the 54th Legislature there was massive corruption which the Unity Party and other opposition political party spoke against, now to be dashing out huge monies to lawmakers to vote Richard Koon, is a total disservice and I will not stand for this!” Rep. Yekeh Kolubah stated. Kolubah alleged that the failure of the Weah Administration was carried by Rep. Richard Koon and most of the same group of lawmakers, including Representative Thomas Fallah both of whom he said have been working on the same Committee of at least five hundred Thousand United States Dollars.

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