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Lofa County Senator, Atty. Stephen Zargo has declared his intention to contest the post of President Pro-Tempore at the Senate.

The election which is expected to take place next Tuesday, January 16, 2018 is as a result of the expiration of the tenure of the current Pro-Tempore, Sen. Armah Zulu Jallah and in accordance with the Senate’s own standing rules and the constitution of Liberia.

Rule 14, section 1 of the Liberian Senate rules states among other things “The President Pro-Tempore shall be elected by a simple majority of the duly seated Senators to serve for a term of six years.

Also, Article 47 of the Liberian Constitution states among other things that, “The Senate shall elect once every six years a President Pro Tempore who shall preside in the absence of the President of the Senate.”

Addressing a news conference Monday, Sen. Zargo said his decision to contest the Pro-Temp post was to create a geographical balance within the governance system of the country.

“My participation in the Pro-Tempore election of the honorable House of Elders, the Liberian Senate, is to first politically balance this country geographically and selflessness,” Sen. Zargo told journalists in a news conference.

The Lofa County Senator asserted that had Vice President, Ambassador Joseph Boakai won the just-ended presidential and legislative elections, he (Sen. Zargo) wouldn’t have thrown his hat into the race for the Pro-Tempt post.

Senator Zargo indicated the legislators are the true reconcilers of the country, representing the ordinary people, noting the time to do the right thing is now in order to show real commitment for genuine change in the country.

“My fellow Liberians throughout the years, we have all advocated for genuine change in all sectors of our country, especially within the governance system. We as national leaders must muster the courage to be selfless and lead differently,” Sen. Zargo stressed.

Senator Zargo who has become the first to openly declare his interest in the position of Pro-Tempore, asserted that the legislature would be undergoing a major reform process and as such, it would require the total involvement of every lawmaker.  

Senator Zargo furthered that member of the legislature should exercise what he considers as high moral rectitude couple with respect for the rule of law, stressing that the wrongs of the past must not be repeated.

He indicated that the image of legislature needs to be rebranded by the system and policies he intends to put into place upon being elected as the next Pro-Temp of the Liberian Senate, in order to reclaim the public trust, confidence and respect they deserve as lawmakers.

“We will have to rebrand the image of legislature by the system and policies we establish in order to reclaim the public trust and confidence and respect that we deserve as individual lawmakers and collectively as an institution,” the Lofa County Senator maintained.

The Senate Committee Chairman on National Security, Defense and Veteran Affairs disclosed that he has concluded talks with the Center Security for Development and the Rule of Law (DCAF) and the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to conduct training for staffers of the legislature.

Meanwhile, an insider of the Liberia Senate has told The New Republic that members of the nineteen Senators block who pledged their support to VP Boakai in the just ended Presidential and Representatives elections are coming together to come up with a consensus candidate in the upcoming Pro-Tempore election. 

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