The pro-democracy group, Democratic Watch Forum (DWF) is calling on President-Elect Ambassador George Manneh Weah not to interfere with the process of electing a new President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The group, in a release, says its attention has been drawn to a recent meeting held at a local hotel where President-Elect Weah is reported to have rallied senators to elect his kinsman Albert Chie of Grand Kru County as President Pro-Tempore, while at the same time influencing CDC lawmakers and other members of the House of Representatives to vote for Dr. Bhofal Chambers in the ensuing speaker election.
Democratic Watch Forum reminds Ambassador Weah that executive interferences in legislative affairs have over the years affected the independence of the Legislature, especially in the twelve year administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and as such, the CDC led government must not repeat those negative practices.
The civil society group said Ambassador Weah who speaks dearly about a people-centered and geographically balanced government, must not contradict himself by attempting to influence Senators and Representatives to elect a President Pro-Tempore from Grand Kru, the county of his nativity, and a CDC speaker who also hails from Maryland County.
The group is also cautioning members of the ensuing 54th Legislature to strengthen democratic governance in Liberia by demonstrating independence if they must attract and maintain public confidence.
“We call on President-Elect Weah not to allow any hidden hands or personal interest to influence his thoughts and decisions into doing things that have the propensity to erode public trust in his government”; the release said.
If Senator Albert Chie and Dr. Bhofal Chambers are elected, Liberia would have the President of the Republic and President Pro-Tempore hailing from Grand Kru County, and a speaker from neighboring Maryland County, something the civil society group described as counterproductive to genuine democratic governance.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Watch Forum is admonishing members of the Senate and House of Representatives not to allow those negative practices and perceptions that beclouded the 52nd and 53rd Legislature to spill over to the 54th Legislature if the lost trust and confidence of the Liberian people and international partners must be restore in the first branch of government.