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-His Interest Runs At Odds With Hans Barchue’s Who Promises Sweeping Reforms

It is considered a big test for President-elect George Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change, according to political experts, as the battle for speaker rages at the House of Representatives.

Whether the President-elect will enjoy or command the respect of the 54th  Legislature will be determined by the outcome of the Speaker election due next week.

Weah and his CDC are backing the candidature of Representative Ghofal Chambers, whom they (Weah and CDC) believe they can help to enhance their agenda.

Weah’s government needs the unhindered cooperation of the National Legislature to succeed with its agenda, the Speaker being a strategic link in achieving it.

Though he will have no choice working with the winner, either Chambers or Barchue, it is prudent a CDCian sitting in the seat as Speaker will greatly add grease to his elbows.

Insiders say Weah’s intention is to use Chambers as Speaker to represent him at fora he may not be in the position to attend.

Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf succeeded in getting elected speaker (s) she would work with to enhance her government.

Then Speaker Edwin Melvin Snowe was removed from office under cooked-up scheme because the President reportedly was not comfortable working him, or felt he would have compromised the government’s agenda.

Using her influence, Madam Sirleaf helped in electing then Speaker Alex Tyler (formerly of the Unity Party) to the position, though the marriage between the two did not last. Under the guise of corruption allegation, Tyler was subsequently removed.

The President was quoted as saying she could not work with Tyler any longer for allegedly strangulating the government’s agenda.

In place of Tyler whom she swore she would not do business with, she reportedly worked her way around members of the 53rd Legislature to elect out-going Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, then of the UP.

It is the same trend President-elect Weah is trying to follow by putting his weight behind a candidate of his like, in whom he believes.

Members of the House may find it hard electing a speaker from the party of the President-elect for fear of compromising the general interest of the nation.  Experts say this situation puts Weah in a tenuous position to see his wish accomplished. 

However, Weah’s interest faces tough challenge from re-elected Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue.

Rep. Barchue has already hit the ground working to ascend to the second most important post in government by practice.

The Grand Bassa promised total reform at the legislature if given the chance to serve.

He told a news conference last weekend that his decision to run for office was trigged by the compelling need for reform at the Legislature.

He has a strong bloc of support, a proof that he will be a ‘bone to contend with’ in the race.

Accompanied by 24 of his colleagues, both old and new lawmakers, Barchue told journalists that the legislature has its own many problems, but called his team the legislative reform bloc.

“The legislature has its own many problems and this is why we refer to ourselves as the legislative reform bloc. We intend to reform in such a way that it will meet the dreams and aspirations of the Liberian people,” Deputy Speaker Barchue stressed.

“The expectations of the Liberian people are way too high and as such it is required of the legislature to work in line with the executive to live up to the expectations of the people.”

According to him, the 54th legislature has inherited a great deal of responsibility.

“If the legislature is yearning for audit of other government institutions and non-government institutions that received public funds, then the legislature itself must be audited.”

“If we say that we must audit other institutions of government, then we too must be audited, we are no exception and this will be one of the bare rocks of our reform. You cannot be the recipient of government`s money and cannot be audited.”

The first to openly declare intention for the speaker post, Barchue  disclosed the legislature has major difficulty, the issue of going back to their respective constituencies.

Those in his camp include Representatives-elect Nagbe Sloh, Richard Kun, Francis Dopoe, and Representatives Mathew Zarzar, and Ben Fofana of Sinoe, Montserrado, River Gee, Sinoe and Margibi Counties respectively.

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