Liberia’s 55th Parliament Ends Leadership Votes

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The leadership elections of the 55th Legislature’s House of Representative in Liberia have been completed, bringing interesting changes to the political landscape. Mildred N. Sayon won her third term as Chief Clerk, while Martin Johnson secured his fifth term as Sergeant-at-Arms. C. Cormicks Chea will take over as the new Deputy Chief Clerk, stepping into the shoes of the late G. Sayfurh Geplay. The House also elected Rep. J. Fonati Koffa as Speaker and Rep. Thomas Fallah as Deputy Speaker, in line with Article 49 of the Liberian constitution which mandates these elections every six years.

Reappointed and the New Secretary

Both Sayon and Johnson were unchallenged in their elections, marking Sayon’s third term and Johnson’s fifth. Sayon has been serving since 1997, making her the longest-serving Chief Clerk in Liberia post-war. Meanwhile, Johnson’s service dates back to the Liberia National Transitional Government period.

Allegations and Calls for Transparency

Former Press Union of Liberia leaders are worried over claims of underhand dealings involving the President-elect Joseph N. Boakai and the new leaders of the National Legislature. They are demanding transparency and clear accountability, and an independent investigation to clear these allegations. The Institute for Transparency and Accountability International (ITAI) has applauded the peaceful reconstitution of the legislature, and expressed hope that the Houses will promote the development plans of the President-elect.

Balancing Political Power

The recent elections have led to a balance of power between the ruling party and the opposing groups, with leadership roles shared equally. The Senate is now in the hands of the Unity Party Alliance. The House of Representatives, however, saw a tough contest ending with Cllr Fonati J Koffa of the CDC winning. This could signal the beginning of a new phase of balanced power in Liberia’s political journey.

Elijah Muhammad