MONROVIA: The Institute for Transparency and Accountability International (ITAI) has commended members of both Houses of the 55th Legislature for the peaceful manner in which the National Legislature was reconstituted and called for the coordination of the country’s development agenda.
In a press statement issued yesterday, January 15, 2024, ITAI said it is of particular interest that the election of the House of Representatives which generated grave contestation between the Representatives Richard Koon and Fonati Jonathan Koffa sides conducted their elections peacefully, stressing that the manner in which the elections at the Legislature were conducted set the pace for a successful journey towards development. The group thanked the newly elected speaker, Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Koffa and his Deputy, Lofa County Representative Thomas Fallah for their preferments amongst their peers.
The group has also extended facilitations to the newly Senate Pro Tempore of the 55th Legislature, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence and the new corps of officers at the Senate. ITAI indicated that it is more appreciating that the 55th Legislature is a balanced body, considering that both the Opposition and the ruling Unity Party are present at both levels – the House of Representatives where the opposition captured the leadership with Fonati Koffa, and at the Senate where Senator Lawrence from the Rescue Team ascended to the Senate leadership.
At the same time, the Institute for Transparency and Accountability International has urged both Houses of the Legislature to be receptive in advancing the development agenda of the Unity Party of President-elect Joseph Boakai, saying that it should rather remain firmed as well to ensure the Legislature does not become a rubber-stamp.
ITAI has lent its open support to the former Deputy Speaker of the 54th House of Representatives, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa for standing out in the Speakership election yesterday, January 15, 2024.
ITAI justified that its support is predicated on the fact that Cllr. Koffa is best suited for the position among his and his major contenders who have shown interest for the vacancy, adding that Cllr. Koffa has served as Deputy Speaker for the House of Representatives and in some cases, Acting Speaker, making him knowledgeable of the functions of such capacity.
Meanwhile, ITAI has called on Speaker Koffa, upon his ascendency as Speaker of the 55th National Legislature, to work closely and collectively with the Liberian Senate, the Executive and Judicial Branches of government in moving the country forward.
ITAI however warned Cllr. Koffa not to use the position to subject national interest to party scrutiny, as doing so will only stall the development of the Country.