MONROVIA: While the election of Cllr. Fonati Jonathan Koffa and Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence as Speaker and Senate Pro Tempore respectively of the 55th national legislature might have taken much of the media spotlight, there also is the Representative Thomas P. Fallah of District #1, Lofa County who has won the fiercely contested Deputy Speaker election on Monday.
For the first time since the Monday election, the Lofa County lawmaker has spoken out, disclosing that would work with Speaker Koffa and his colleagues to provide robust leadership that would espouse transparency and accountability.
In a closely contested election which followed immediately after Speaker election, Fallah, hitherto former Chairman of the Ways and Means committee, defeated the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Musa Hassan Bility of District #7, Nimba County by 42 to 24 of the 66 valid votes cast.
In his post-election acceptance remark, amid cheers and jubilation, Fallah reiterated his electoral promise to use his vast legislative experience garnered over the years to work with new Speaker and his colleagues to make the 55th legislature responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Liberian people.
He assured his colleagues of his desire to help provide responsible leadership that is “accessible and accountable to members of the Honorable House of Representatives”.
“Colleagues, with my experience in Legislative politics for the past 18, I will help the office of the Speaker to provide responsible and accessible Leadership for the Honorable House of Representatives as well as working with all of you collectively to discharge the function for which we were all elected,” Deputy Speaker Fallah said.
He pledged to provide assistance to the office of the Speaker as well as working with his other colleagues to proffer legislative agendas that align with the incoming administration of President elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
He alluded to the issue of accountability and transparency being areas that have affected the smooth operation of the House and vowed to work the Speaker and colleagues to find urgent solutions.
“With close working relationship with the House Speaker, Cllr. Fonati Koffa, we will be accountable to you, our colleagues and the Liberian people who gave us the opportunity to serve them as their lawmakers,” he pledged.
Fallah who was the candidate of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) had earlier indicated his interest in the Speakership until negotiation and consultations among the key stakeholders in the party including outgoing President George Manneh Weah took better part of the final decision for him to step down for then Deputy Speaker Koffa.
The new Deputy Speaker is among the very few lawmakers who are still in the national legislature since they were inaugurated in 2006. For his first three terms, he represented District #5, Montserrado County, that is the period between 2006.