LIBERIA: BHOFA ELECTED CHAMBERS HOUSE SPEAKER
Dr. Bhofal Chambers being sworn in as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Maryland County District #2 Representative, was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature yesterday and proceeded to say that the institution he now leads must be “rebranded” and that friendship will not be his priority.
His tenure is expected to run from January 15, 2018 to January 15, 2024.
The Maryland County lawmaker replaced former Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay of the 53rd Legislature, whose tenure expired Monday, January 15.
Dr. Chambers, a member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), was elected on a “white ballot” after former Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue and former Speaker Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. declined their respective intentions after being nominated earlier.
The House Speaker bragged that as speaker he would do what is required of the House of Representatives based on the terms of reference, and that he expects cooperation from all of his colleagues in their operations of lawmaking, oversight, and representation.
The House Speaker promised to reform the House of Representatives and declared, “I will like to let you know that you will not be disappointed. This House will be rebranded. Your hopes will not be withered. We will build your prospects.”
Chambers indicated that reconciliation will be the hallmark of his leadership noting, “We think that in unity, Liberia can be safe, Liberia can be just, stable, prosperous, and so this responsibility lies on our shoulders.”
He urged members of the 54th Legislature to be honorable and “to be within your authority not to diminish the honor that the people have reposed in you.”
He thanked the lawmakers for the confidence they have reposed in him, and also thanked outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, although he still expressed his dissatisfaction.
“I want to thank the President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as one who led this country, though there were challenges, gaps and weaknesses, we still understand that she did what she could,” he said.
The House Speaker also thanked the incoming President, George M. Weah, adding: “I want to thank him, because two years ago, he said to me ‘when things happen in our way, you will be the next speaker.'”
He said: “I think he is a man of credibility; I will not let him down.”
Chambers itemized his gratitude, saying, “l want to say graciously and humbly, that all I am and all l hope to be, I owe it to God first, my mother, my family, the noble Coalition for Democratic Change, my friends, people of New Jerusalem, called Pleebo Soloken District, and to well intention Liberians, l want to say thank you.”
He added: “God has a purpose for everything; what God has for you, no one can take it away from you. I believe in His power and authority. May God richly bless all of us, as we endeavor to transform this country, politically, economically and sociably.”
However, the House Speaker, in a firm tone, dismissed perception of sour relationship or bad blood among the three branches of government.
“We will not create any acrimony; we will be in close consultation with the other branches of government,” he said.
Chambers quoted US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The true measure of a man is not where he stands during moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of difficulties and controversies.”
Dr. Chambers holds a master’s and doctorate degree in Law Enforcement from the Columbus University, USA. He was elected as Representative in 2005, and served as a member on the Committees on Foreign Affairs, National Security, Good Governance & Government Reform and Chairman of Defense.
Prior to his election as a lawmaker, Dr. Chambers served as President for the Universal Professional Network Systems Network, USA; Security Consultant in Philadelphia, USA; President, National Crime Prevention Awareness Project in Liberia; Director for the Liberia National Fire Service; Senior Network Planner of the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation, among others.
The election of the Speaker of the 54th Legislature is in consonance with Article 49 of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
Article 49 states: “The House of Representatives shall elect once every six years a Speaker who shall be the Presiding Officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker, and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House.”
House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers inducting Deputy Speaker Prince K. Moye
Also in keeping with Article 49, Hon. Prince K. Moye of Electoral District # 2, Bong County, was elected by majority members of the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature.
Rep. Moye, who previously served as chairman of the House’s Committee on Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning, defeated the former Deputy Speaker of the 53rd Legislature, Hans Barchue, by 41 to 25 votes.
Deputy Speaker Moye holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) with an emphasis on Public Sector Management, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, with a minor in Accounting, both from Cuttington University.
He is the chief executive officer of the Senior Moye Incorporation in Gbarnga, Bong County and worked as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, Cuttington University.
House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers inducting into offices Chief Clerk Mildred Sayon, J. Sayfarh Geeplah and Sergeant-at-arms, Martin Johnson
He was elected representative in 2011. Prior to his election, he worked as director of procurement and administrative assistant to the vice president for administration at the Cuttington University.
Also, members of the House of Representatives elected on white ballots, the current Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon; Deputy Chief Clerk, J. Sayfah Geeplah; and Brigadier-General Martin Johnson as Sergeant-at-Arms.