MONROVIA: As the search for the leadership of the two sections of the national legislature heats up, reports gathered by The Analyst indicate that based on the negotiations and consensus building by members of the incoming senate, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence is poised to become the next President Protempore after getting acclamation from majority of her colleagues.
Our correspondent who followed the special retreat held at the Farmington Hotel, Margibi County said the main thrust of the decision taken to pick Senator Lawrence ahead any other possible candidate followed similar trend in 2018 when Senator Albert Chie of Grand Kru County emerged as Pro Temp unopposed, reportedly made possible by motion moved by Senator Lawrence and followed by a “give and take” arrangement.
Interestingly enough, the Farmington arrangement last week was facilitated and promoted by the outgoing Pro Tempore who is said to still be wielding enormous influence among his colleagues that has also attracted the incoming senators.
As per the reported arrangement, chairmanship positions of key committees were shared and went across party lines. They are outgoing Pro Tempore, Senator Chie (Public Works) Senators James Biney (Executive), Augustine Chea (Judiciary), Prince Moye (Ways and Means), Gbebo Brown (Rule and Order) and Abraham Darius Dillon (Foreign Affairs)
Others are Saah H. Joseph (Health), Amara Konneh (Public Accounts and Audit), Edwin Snowe (ECOWAS Parliament), Momo Cyrus (Defense, Securities and Intelligence), Nathaniel McGill (Education), Jonathan Boyechild Soigbe (Maritime) and Simeon B. Taylor (Lands, Mines. Energy and Natural Resources
According to multiple reports from the retreat, a total of 24 senators attended and have all agreed to the arrangement which will be made public on Monday, January 15, 2024 when the election for the new leadership will take place.
With the huge presence of the 29 members who will be converging on Monday, it is not clear yet whether Senator Gbehzongar Milton Findley of Grand Bassa County who has reportedly declared his intention to contest will still go ahead with his plan in a move that will see him occupying the position once again for the second time after being in the saddle from 2012 to 2015.
Several attempts to get words from the former Foreign Affairs Minister who was elected during the just concluded general election as an independent candidate proved futile and there has not been any other information from him as to the next move as per the outcome of the special retreat which it was said he did not attend.
If what was agreed upon goes ahead today, then it will mark a critical departure from other dispensations where the Senate Presidency was hotly contested.
Meanwhile one of the Senators who would have been on the other side of the divide to offer a stiff opposition against the emergence of Senator Lawrence as Pro Temp, Senator Augustine S. Chea of Sinoe County and a staunch member of the outgoing ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) provided information on how and why Nyonblee will be elected today. In his Facebook post which has gone viral, Chea confirmed that Senator Gbehzongar Milton Findley was clearly in the race but could not get the number as those they depended on to put up a challenge ditched the plan for Nyonblee.
“We’ve lost the race for President Pro Tempore. Our candidate didn’t make it to the finish line.
“Even the party’s loyal Senators that stayed the course until late Saturday afternoon when the Resolution of the Senate Retreat was signed by 17 Senators in support of the other candidate, surrendered when we realized we’ve been conquered or that with or without us, the deal was done.
“But adding insult to injury was the fact that some of the independent Senators we depended on abandoned us, probably because of our choice of candidate and/or the failure to reach out to them early.
“Next Monday’s Senate President Pro Tempore election will be a mere formality. Senator Karnga-Lawrence will become the next President Pro Tempore”, he said.