NAYMOTE Releases 2022 Legislative Report -Highlights Male Dominance, Non-accountability

MONROVIA – The Naymote Partners for Democratic Development Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, a good governance and research institution working to advance the principles of democracy, rule of law, and participatory governance in Liberia has released its 2022 Legislative report, Legislative Digest, whose aim is to foster Legislative Openness, Responsiveness and Accountability” in Liberia with the findings that the legislature “is still disproportionately occupied by men, despite numerous campaigns for women’ inclusion and representation in decision making and leadership structures over the years.

The report made public on its website said as of the end of 2022, 91% of the membership of the Legislature were men, while only 9% were women. “Similarly, the two houses are strikingly unequal in terms of gender composition: men occupy 90% and 93% of the seats in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively; while women occupy just 10% and 7% of the seats in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively”, the report said

“During the year 2022, the Legislature held 167 sittings, of which 106 (63%) were regular sittings, 36 (22%) were secret/executive sittings, 9 (5%) were special sittings, 16 (10%) were extraordinary sittings. There were 29 public hearings held during the year. All secret sittings were held by the House of Representatives. The Liberian Senate followed the recommendations of the first edition of the Legislative Digest on reducing secret sittings and canceled all secret sittings in 2022”, the report said.

The report noted that the publication of the first edition of the Legislative Digest increased public awareness of the workings of the Legislature and empowered civil society and ordinary citizens with more information to advocate for greater transparency in the activities of the Legislature, stressing that this perhaps led to a slight decrease in executive/secret sitting numbers, from 35% in 2021 to 22% in 2022.

On the number of bills passed during the year, the report further said the lawmakers passed a total of 53 bills during the year 2022, of which 35 (66 %) originated from the Executive/presidency, 12 (23%) from the House of Representatives, and 6 (11%) from the Senate.

“The total budget allocated to the Legislature in 2022 amounted to USD 64,383,926.00. There is no publicly available financial report to account for the use of this money. Popular demands to audit the financial records of the Legislature have yielded no results. The assessment did not also find any voting records or reports of ministries, agencies, and commissions filed with the Legislature, for instance, annual reports.

“As a modern Legislature, crucial reforms will be needed to strengthen its institutional capabilities in exercising oversight, promoting inclusion, and advancing democracy. In this light, it is recommended that the Legislature, among others, work towards greater transparency and 2 openness, deepen engagement with government ministries and provide greater oversight and accountability; and promulgate laws that promote the inclusion and participation of women in the legislature and other public decision-making bodies”, the report concluded.


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