By Festus Poquie
Coalition for Democratic Change Lawmaker Fonati Koffa is leading the Speaker race in the House of Representatives with more than 40 lawmakers supporting his bid.
Twenty-five House members showed up at Springfield in Sinkor Monday to greet the Grand Kru County Reprehensive on arrival from Southeastern Liberia where he was leading efforts for President George Weah’s campaign. Weah won the region overwhelmingly but lost the presidential runoff vote.
“If you are judging from the appearance of my colleagues at the airport today then I can say it is more than 25 Lawmakers supporting me,” he told reporters.
“ Nine people were not able to attend. Three of them in their Districts, and six of them who just could not make it to come,” he said.”
This means he already has 44 Representatives backing his bid and is only short of four more to win the top job.
What kind of Speaker will he become?
“What you can look for under the gavel of Fonati Koffa is accountability and transparency in the Legislature. I think you can be assured of a legislature holding the executive’s feet to the fire in terms of making sure that whatever is proffered is in the interest of the Liberian people,” he said.
“We will be robust but, in the end, it is only to make sure something good happens.”
He could face challengers like Lofa County District # 1 Representative-elect Thomas Fallah who has served in the legislature since 2006.
Fallah and Koffa are members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and has chaired the lucrative appropriation committee – Ways, Means and the Budget.
Koffa is confident he will win the party’s ticket.
“For the CDC we never say certain because it is a party; it is an institution but CDC will produce a candidate, whoever that candidate will be that is up to the party,” Koffa who’s the current deputy speaker said.
Opposition wants the Speaker role
“We are not going to turn it into a partisan Legislature because we are in the opposition. If you are in the opposition, I think we should talk and if you are in the ruling party, I think we should talk also.
“In this current election there was a divided country. I believe even the Unity Party will agree that national unity is what we need. Now that they have the Executive it is only fair that the opposition picks up the Speaker position.
Official results from legislative elections held on Oct. 10 showed outgoing President George Weah’s CDC won 25 seats in the 73-member House of Representatives.
President-elect Joseph Boakai’s Unity Party took 11 seats. Independent candidates grabbed 19 seats while other parties won 18 seats.
The Speaker election could be held on Jan. 15, the seconding working Monday of the month following the New Year’s holiday. The winner must get 2/3 support of the House’s membership.