Poor performances may cost re-election thirsty lawmakers
As the fight for political survival on Capitol Hill draws nearer, it is becoming clearer that a number of Legislators did not live up to expectations.
From lawmaking to constituency representation and oversight, a survey shows a dismal perform of lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are poised to go for re-election.
With the October/November Presidential, Legislative and general elections now becoming a matter of debate and prediction for many Liberians, it seems a political tsunami is imminent on Capitol Hill.
In this second analysis by the Legislative Bureau of frontpageafricaonline.com, results of investigative review of the performances, weaknesses and chances of re-election bound lawmakers are presented with a view to create public awareness among the decision makers of the Country who go to the polls this year.
Let’s begin with Montserrado County- where one seat is already vacant and up for grab because of poor performance.
District # 4, Montserrado
PERFORMANCES: Known as a longtime social justice activist, Wolokolie has as his strength his public speaking on issues. Initially, he was an active debater in the House but now he has turned into a silent observer of proceedings. Besides his first outburst of legislators indirectly demanding money to pass a certain investment agreement where he was forced to apologize on his knees, Wolokolie is now remained a peripheral figure in the House with not much in lawmaking.
WEAKNESSES: Law drafting and the true representation of his people has been totally lacking. Wolokolie is a failure in terms of Representation of his people as he frankly admitted that he has failed his people in terms of representation and will not seek re-election 2011. His boldness was rare in Legislative and Liberian politics.
CHANCES: With his formal declaration of no re-election bid due to failure, Wolokolie is completely out! He created his own future and has seen his fate going ever bleak and so his seat is now vacant for grab.
Junior Senator, Montserrado
PERFORMANCES: Elected in a tense bi-election to fill the vacant CDC seat left by the death of her partisan Hannah Brent, Doe-Sheriff has made her presence felt in the Senate. She arrived in the Senate with a radical bill to make corruption a non-bailable offense. Though, it is unconstitutional for a suspected corrupt official to be placed behind bars during trial on corruption charges, Doe-Sheriff got the support of the gullible few in the public who hate the word corruption. She has been a normal participant in debate though her thoughts are just sometimes disorganized.
WEAKNESSES: Doe-Sheriff has not been able to exert her full authority in the Senate as Chairperson of the masses driven opposition Congress for Democratic Change. Besides her controversial and radical anti-corruption bill, she is not found of any idea of another bill introduction. Her thoughts on issues are sometimes just awkward. She has allowed the rift in the CDC, particularly with rebel Representative Rufus Neufville to linger for too long; and it continues to distract her attention because she has refused to yield to pressure to resign as Chairperson of the CDC while also serving as a Senator. She has limited or just no time for both job!
CHANCES: With the CDC boasting of having control of the numbers in Montserrado, Doe-Sheriff stands a good chance of returning to the Senate though her chances could vanish given her rift with rebel Representative Rufus Neufville and the recent decision of the CDC to elect Winston Tubman over George Weah as standard bearer. Doe-Sheriff could experience a tough re-election battle as many grass-root CDCians are disenchanted over the deal.
District #1, Margibi
PERFORMANCES: Known as the Finance Minister of the House and trusted ally of Speaker Tyler, Nuquay has been a hardworking lawmaker. He is vocal in plenary and noted for influencing key decisions in the House with respect to ratification of huge investment agreements. Behind the scene, it is thought that he likes money to ensure strong performance. He has been a mark in his District where he has a micro-medium loan scheme coupled with a visible developmental mindset.
WEAKNESSES: Nuquay is a quiet operator and his critics say he accepts gossips at phase-value. He is not also balanced in his advocacy as he is sometimes selfish. A case in point has been, he advocated for a US$10, 000 budgetary allocation to undertake water evaluation studies in his District but when it came to the building of schools and expansion of roads in Kuku Dorbor’s District in Montserrado, he said it was not a necessity.
CHANCES: The re-election bid of Nuquay looks possible but he has to work overtime to control the Greater parts of Margibi where he is unpopular.
District #2, Margibi
PERFORMANCES: After his victory in one of the tensed bi-elections in Margibi, Kollie Sorsor Jallah as a CDCian has not lived-up to expectations. He has been one of the non-active members of the House. He has not openly spoken in the House plenary because of fright and it now appears he is a bobo-lawmaker. He has no traceable bill in the House but only votes where the majority heads.
WEAKNESSES: Jallah has a speech barrier in public and is considered a bobo-lawmaker. He does not talk in session. He has not submitted any bill or written any letter to the House on issues of concern. His performance is just dismal. He’s not people centered as his own office staffers do criticized him for his meanness, according to reports. He has not much trace of developments in his District and is not outspoken.
CHANCES: With time running out, the chances of Sorsor Jallah return to the House are being numbered as he has failed to live up to expectations.
SAAR R. GBOLLIE:
District #3, Margibi
PERFORMANCES: As a former militant during the war years, Gbollie has impressed in the House. He is outspoken and hardworking. He has introduced several bills which have been legislated with the recent evidence of his legislation to ensure a drastic reform of the weak criminal justice system of Liberia with respect to the Corrections sector. He has initiated a small financial donation scheme in his District and has used his Legislative tactics to advocate for his people to benefit from the Firestone Concession agreement. With his District located in a concession area, Gbollie has not been too involved in physical development ventures but rather crying for his people.
WEAKNESSES: Gbollie is a controversial figure as his link to taking a US$5, 000 bribe in the campaign to remove former Speaker Snowe has continued to hunt him. He is thought to have signed a press statement confirming taking the money but later said it was not his signature. He even admitted to a secret voice recording provided by Snowe where he confirmed taking the US$5, 000 bribe but said, his voice was manipulated as the focus of discussion was on different issue. Gbollie is overly outspoken and very emotional. His tempers usually flare when things are not in his favor. He is usually found intimidating his political rivals for fear that they are threatening his re-election bid. He usually breaks his promises.
CHANCES: Gbollie has a 50% chance of re-election for now but his percentage point could either increase or decrease based on his behavior in these last coming Months of the Legislature.
District #4, Margibi
PERFORMANCES: Zayzay swept a bi-election from the CDC before coming to the Legislature on the ticket of the Unity Party. He has been a non-active member of the House as he has not openly contributed to debate or influenced the plenary to take certain actions. He is considered as another bobo-lawmaker with no traceable bill to his credit. However, in his District, Zayzay is revered for his development and humanitarian efforts. He is credited for purchasing two thirty-two-seated buses to transport students in Margibi along with the renovation of schools.
WEAKNESSES: Given his low key participation in the House, Zayzay has been poor in the area of law making and exercising oversight. He has no visible Legislation to boast of.
CHANCES: With good rapport with his constituents, Zayzay has a huge chance for re-election.
HAJA FATA SIRYON
District #2, Bomi
PERFORMANCES: With respect to the cardinal responsibilities of a lawmaker, Siryon has been ineffective though she has at most regularly attended sessions. She is not expressive and has no appreciable submission of bills. However, she has been working to build market structures and roads in her district. She has also held meetings with the citizens.
WEAKNESSES: Siryon is a non-active member of the House. She can’t boast of submitting a bill or influencing key decisions in the House but rather she sits as a mere observer. Whenever she gets the bravery to speak in session, she sometimes goes emotional.
CHANCES: If taking development to the people and holding meetings with them on a regular basis will count, then Siryon has a good chance of re-election though she will continue to be a semi-bobo lawmaker.
District #3, Bomi
PERFORMANCES: A former social service worker, Cooper has been an occasional speaker in the House. He’s noted for pressing strongly for tougher actions against the disgraced former Superintendent of Bomi Mohamed Massaley on the basis of the misused of the County Development Funds. Cooper has no credit with bill submission and shifting decisions in the House. He has also not done much in his District with respect to development and remains inaccessible to his people.
WEAKNESSES: An occasional participant in the House debate, Cooper is invisible to his people and has not much practical development to his glory.
CHANCES: Cooper seems not to be having a clear chance of re-election as he is not loved by his people any longer.
Junior Senator, Bomi
PERFORMANCES: Once an indictee of economic crimes charges, Devine has been working in the Senate and contributing to key debates. He has helped to discuss and provide analysis for the Senate on financial matters. Devine is said to be working hard in his County to ensure re-election as he presently resides with his people in Bomi.
WEAKNESSES: Devine looks playful in session and is usually found not serious but rather jovial. He is not also forceful.
CHANCES: There is no clear cut chance for the re-election bid of Devine.
District #1, Gbarpolu
PERFORMANCES: Quiah has been a disgraced to the National Legislature as his performances are too dismal to count. He has failed completely in the areas of lawmaking, oversight and constituency representation. He has no visible bill for Legislation and is regarded as a bobo-lawmaker. He is in fact a drunkard as he once confirmed in an interview that he takes in small alcohol. Quiah has failed to meet his people and is very inaccessible.
CHANCES: Unless by God’s divine intervention or supernatural help, Quiah stands no chance of re-election. It’s no return for this failed lawmaker!
District #2, Gbarpolu
PERFORMANCES: Known as the Chief Justice of the House, Sarnor has done well in the areas of lawmaking, oversight and constituency representation. He has also been holding meetings with his people about actions taken by the Legislature and government.
WEAKNESSES: Once indicted of taking bribe to remove former Speaker Snowe, Sarnor remains a quiet operator that is not trusted by his colleagues. He failed in his bid for the House Speakership after backing-off. He is also inconsistent with his political life as he has left the Liberty Party to seek gravy in the Unity Party.
CHANCES: Sarnor has to work hard if he is to win re-election because his sister is thought to be a strong contender like he defeated his older brother during the 2005 elections. His defeated brother has reportedly vowed to work with his sister to ensure the defeat of Sarnor. He may also face a problem in the Unity Party where a primary will take place.
District #3, Gbarpolu
PERFORMANCES: Yarsiah is considered the American talking man in the House and has been a regular participant in debates with his adapted but failed American way of speaking. He has been effective in the House and even in his district where he has done well in the infrastructure building of his District. He also pays visits to his people with sound representation.
WEAKNESSES: Yarsiah has not been balanced in his decision making process as he usually sides with his political interest with the Unity Party of President Sirleaf. He sometimes flops in speaking with his blind eyes on issues.
CHANCES: He is thought to have a 50-50% chance of re-election but the tides look in his favor for now.
Junior Senator, Gbarpolu
PERFORMANCES: Naatehn has been a key member of the Senate as he chairs the Executive Committee. He is a regular debater on issues of national concerns and has been effective in lawmaking, oversight and representation. He is a silent floor fighter and a known Senator that formed part of the plot to remove former Pro Temp Isaac Nyenabo.
WEAKNESSES: Naatehn is not nationalistic at times on issues because of his Unity Party affiliation as he seeks to overly protect President Sirleaf. His critics say he is not too opened to the public and is considered a mean Senator.
CHANCES: Naatehn faces a serious dilemma of re-election with the district politics in Gbarpolu. It is thought that the District from which he is from, has two lawmakers in the Legislature and while other Districts are not being represented at all.
SAYE-TALOR ADOLPHUS DOLO
Junior Senator, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Dolo has been a silent operator in the Senate with specialization in alliance building. Unless pushed to the wall, he does not comment on issues but is noted for raising contentious issues when he takes the stage. He has not much been involved in bill crafting though he provides oversight. He’s noted for regular visitations to Nimba with an eye on re-election.
WEAKNESSES: At office level, Dolo is inaccessible. He is also thought to be selfish and has no idea in law crafting. He’s emotional and fast to run out of control. He has allowed his unholy alliance with key members of the Senate including Pro Temp Wotorson and Senator Sumo Kupee to override his thought. Dolo is also in a dispute with Senator Prince Johnson as it relates to the Presidential bid of his senior Senator which he opposes in favor of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as part of his Constitutional rights.
CHANCES: With tribal politics at stake in Nimba where Prince Johnson is respected, Dolo’s chances of re-election look slim and time is now running out for him to unite with his senior Senator who has considerable support among his people.
District #4, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Kidau is one of the few females in the House that occasional contributes to debates. Her stumble in speaking at times makes her to be considered a semi-bobo-lawmaker but realistically when she takes the floor she tailors her points well. She has not much appreciable bill to her credit but is noted for advocating for increment in the budgetary allotment for the Ganta Hospital. At District level, Kidau has helped to the development drive of her constituency with focus on the building of a radio station and market structures.
WEAKNESSES: Kidau is not noted for bill submission. She’s also a non-regular contributor to debate in the House and has not built strong alliances with her colleagues.
CHANCES: With the controversial redistricting of electoral districts across the Country by the National Elections Commission, Kidau now faces a serious dilemma in her re-election bid as a portion of her current district where she has a huge support is to be transferred to another area at her expense. She has a 50% chance for now of re-election.
District #7, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Gaye is an active member of the House who participates in debates. He has to his credit the submission of several health bills. He also provides oversight and regularly visits his people. He was instrumental in luring government to the construction of the largest hospital in his District and perhaps in Nimba with the help of the Chinese government.
WEAKNESSES: Gaye stands criticized for not visiting his entire district and some of his people have taken him to task. He also has a bad-blood relationship with Senator Prince Johnson after he openly opposed the Presidential bid of the former rebel leader.
CHANCES: As a Unity Party lawmaker, Gaye stands a good chance of re-election but if the Prince Johnson factor plays in Nimba, his chances may decline to fair.
District #5, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Not much has been heard of Flindor in the House and he is a non-essential member in debates and providing oversight. He is a bobo-lawmaker, meaning he does not talk in session unless by spare. Some of his people say he has not lived up to their expectations in the House. He has also not visited his entire constituency.
WEAKNESSES: Flindor is not known for bill submission and exercising oversight though he votes on issues. He is a quiet lawmaker and looks stage fright.
CHANCES: With the ongoing demarcation of districts in Nimba, Flindor is now in a difficult position as his chances are very slim.
District # 1, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Karway is another non-active member of the House though he attends sessions almost regularly. He is credited for taking President Sirleaf to his people as a boost to his relations with the people.
WEAKNESSES: Karway remains an unfamiliar lawmaker as he is not noted for contributing to debates and providing oversight.
CHANCES: With his ill-representation in the House, Karway has a 30-40% chance of re-election.
District #2, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Farngalo has been a regular figure in attending the plenary sessions of the House. He once spoke against the increment in the fees of private schools as Chair of the House Education Committee as the body mandated him to provide oversight. At District level, Farngalo is thought not to have adequately represented his people and nothing much can be heard of him.
WEAKNESSES: With no traceable submission of bills, Farngalo is considered a weak lawmaker as his oversight authority has only been exercised once with no impact. His critics say he has also failed to represent his people adequately.
CHANCES: The return of Farngalo on Capitol Hill looks difficult but he could find his way as no strong contender has emerged so far in his district.
District #3, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Dunah has performed at the House level in the areas of lawmaking and oversight. He is not shy. He debates issues given his initial political orientation with the New DEAL Movement. At district level, Dunah is thought to have problem with some of his people as he is regarded as a mean lawmaker. He is credited for some development projects in his districts.
WEAKNESSES: With a perceived problem with some of his people, Dunah looks running out of touch. His level of meanness also counts against him.
CHANCES: The redistricting by the National Elections Commission may cause difficulty for Dunah who had some small chances of re-election. He could contest with his fellow Unity Party lawmaker Evans Koah at the primary, according to reports.
District #6, Nimba
PERFORMANCES: Since winning a bi-election on the ticket of the Unity Party, Koah has been an active member of the House. He has contributed to debates and provided oversight. He was praised as a UP lawmaker for openly criticizing the extravagant spending of government with respect to vehicles purchase. At district level, Koah has an imbalance relationship with his people. Some have praised him for some mini projects while others remain critical.
WEAKNESSES: Koah is noted for being too party centered in debates. He is also thought to be mean to his people and has not much interacted with a significant amount of them.
CHANCES: As a Unity Party lawmaker, Koah has a slim chance for now. Also, he may experience a huddle if the redistricting by the elections commission pairs him with another sitting Unity Party lawmaker in person of Worlea Dunah. Koah and Dunah may fight for the UP ticket at the primary level and one could result going as an independent.
Junior Senator, Bong
PERFORMANCES: Siakor is a respected member of the Senate and is noted for driving debates with his soft speaking voice. He’s not shy but rather gives a critical position on issues during debate. At the Senate, he has not produced many bills for legislation. His people love him for the level of social development projects he has undertaken over the years.
WEAKNESSES: Critics say Siakor has been silent on the past misused of the County Development Funds of Bong County. He’s thought to have refrained himself from any talk on the corruption that characterized the used of the funds. By appearance, he lacks the personality and his soft-spoken tone even contributes to him being regarded as an easy going Senator. Siakor also stands accused of refusing to accept his colleagues’ offer of assuming the role of Senate President Pro Tempore during the heat of the leadership crisis of the body as many Senators saw him as a stabilizer. He’s noted for saying at then, he was not interested in the position of Pro Temp because the problems of Bong were huge than the Senate.
CHANCES: With his earlier failed Presidential declaration and now a Vice Presidential running-mate to Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party, the seat of Siakor is out for grab. If there is a change of mind, Siakor has a clear chance of returning to the Senate.
District #4, Bong County
PERFORMANCES: Mulbah is noted for being one of the most outspoken and controversial members of the House. He contributes to almost all debates and is credited for submitting a number of bills for Legislation. He has helped to take development to his people with emphasis in renovation of schools and public buildings. Mulbah has good human relations with his citizens through his regular visitation.
WEAKNESSES: For almost every dubious transaction in the House and Bong County, Mulbah has been linked. He’s also thought to be emotional and highly money driven.
CHANCES: With Bong County set to benefit from the electoral Threshold Act, Mulbah has ensured one of the extra seats goes near his District where his key contenders will not battle him but their focus will be on the new district. For now, Mulbah has a good chance.
District #6, Bong County
PERFORMANCES: Juah is one of the respected and sound members of the House and his people can boast of him as a true representation in the Legislature. He was involved in efforts to draw government’s intervention to the army-worms invasion in his District sometimes ago. He is intelligent and coordinates his thoughts well in debates.
WEAKNESSES: Juah is thought to have poor relations with his people and critics say he looks insensitive to the development needs of his people. Juah is said not to be paying regular visits to his people.
CHANCES: Given his good representation at the level of the House, Juah is likely to win re-election if he works on his relations problem with his people.
ADAM BILL CORNEH
District #2, Bong County
PERFORMANCES: Corneh has been one of the most silent members of the House. Extremely dark in complexion, Corneh has hidden himself and his voice in his color. He does not contribute to debate and is not found providing oversight. He is however regular in session at most instances. He has no credit for bill submission. At District level, Corneh is praised for helping to create jobs for his people while engaging in development ventures like construction projects.
WEAKNESSES: Corneh stands accused by his critics of taking part in the death of a Commissioner in his District who was thought to be a contender to his re-election bid. He is also thought to have not covered his entire district in terms of visitation.
CHANCES: With his development drive, Corneh stands a better chance of re-election though his impact has not been felt on Capitol Hill.
District #3, Bong County
PERFORMANCES: Bondo has been a disappointment in the House. He is noted for admitting to the media of taking a US$5, 000 bribe to remove Edwin Snowe as Speaker though he later said it was a monkey-wrench designed by Snowe. Bondo has turned into a speechless lawmaker and seemed a disgrace to his earlier practice in broadcast journalism. He has no credit of bill submission and exercising oversight. He has also betrayed his people in terms of representation because he does not relate to them any longer. Except for the building of two personal houses and a radio station, he lacks development programs and is a runaway member of the Liberty Party now with the ruling Unity Party.
WEAKNESSES: Stigmatized by the admittance of bribe taking in the House, Bondo is seen as not credible by his critics. He lacks development and has poor relations with his people.
CHANCES: Bondo’s chances look thin as he has lost grounds with his people and failed to show responsibility in the House.
District #1, Bong County
PERFORMANCES: Barclay, as a female legislator is praised for her efforts in ensuring the passage of the Children Act which lingered at the Legislature for over a year. Besides that bill, she is not found participating in debates as she remains quiet and a mere observer of the House debate. On the District level, Barclay has undertaken development programs in her district through the help of development partners and government.
WEAKNESSES: Barclay is stage fright and can easily be confused when interrupted while talking. She is a non-essential member of the House with respect to debate and providing oversight. She is also thought to have failed to reconcile the youths and the people of her district.
CHANCES: The re-election bid of Madam Barclay looks slim as her opponents are gaining grounds.
Junior Senator, Grand Bassa
PERFORMANCES: Innis is noted for being active in the Senate. He is credited for submitting a number of bills with the latest on setting a minimum wage for laborers/workers. The bill though too late looks political. He stands accused of not taking development to his people in terms of structure construction.
WEAKNESSES: Known for abandoning his family to hang-out in the streets, Innis failed to ensure stability in his family till the sorrowful death of his wife amidst a divorce case at the Supreme Court. He is also thought to have whipped his niece severely but later said he was fooled by the devil. He is noted for developing poor relations with his family. He has also failed to unite the divided Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus which he chairs.
CHANCES: The re-election of Innis looks fair for now as he has a strong membership with the Liberty Party which controls Grand Bassa.
District #1, Grand Bassa
PERFORMANCES: Page is considered the Baptist preacher of the House. His debate on issues resembles a way of preaching by Baptist prelates, his colleagues say. He is an active member of the House who speaks issues as the need arises. He once represented the House at the lucrative ECOWAS Parliament where he apparently survived live bullets fire at his Five-Star-Hotel room as armed robbers were on a spree. He has not much been involved in the submission of bills though he sometimes provides oversight. At district level, he has opened a radio station with minimum development programs.
WEAKNESSES: Page is thought to have poor relations with some of his people due to his engagement with the ECOWAS Parliament over the years where he has been busy representing the House until he was removed recently.
CHANCES: With much of his time spent at the ECOWAS Parliament and poor human relations with some of his people, Page has a slim chance for now.
Junior Senator, Grand Gedeh
PERFORMANCES: Sandy has been a frail and quiet lawmaker. He is regarded as the wisdom man of the Senate because of his parables which he usually equates to any subject of debate. Most of the times in the open session of the Senate, he does not speak for more than five minutes. He has no credit to submitting bills though he is almost regular in session and at times attends oversight functions with committees’ hearings. He has also helped with the provision of some construction materials to some of his kinsmen and contributed to the education drive of some Grand Gedeh students. He is also a regular visitor of his people.
WEAKNESSES: Due to his ailing condition or poor health, Sandy has been a weak Senator with no bill submission.
CHANCES: Despite his poor health, Sandy still has a chance for re-election as his strong contender is said to be his adopted son.
District # 1, Grand Gedeh
PERFORMANCES: Once linked to the purchase of an alleged stolen vehicle from the United States, Gbioer has been an active member of the House. He contributes to debates and provides oversight but not much is credited to him in terms of bill submission. He has helped with the implementation of some projects in his district though his critics say he has no impact in the area. He is also not too popular in some areas of his district.
WEAKNESSES: His critics say his failure to explain to his constituents much about the county development funds which has been at the centered of alleged misused and abused by the Superintendent Chris Bailey is not going down well with the people. Gbieor also formed part at then of the group of lawmakers accused of taking US$5, 000 bribe to remove Edwin Snowe as Speaker.
CHANCES: There are some prospects for the re-election of Gbioer though he will face an uphill battle as his chances are said to be fading.
The analyses on the performance of individual lawmaker on Capitol Hill will continue with more details on another batch of Legislators who are headed to contesting for re-election.
The key questions will remain, have they performed to be trusted again with power or is it no return for the dismal performers.