Former President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Gbehzongar Milton FindleyGrand Bassa County Senior Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley has welcomed the ruling Unity Party’s recent decision to endorse his bid to retain his Senatorial seat in the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.Senator Findley who is also President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, further welcomed the widespread notion that he will be a mere David among the Goliaths who are going all out to unseat him in the forth coming poll. “At least those with such a notion are also aware that for every Goliath, there is a David, and if the Biblical story is anything to go by, then the end result will favor me,” Senator Findley pointed out.The Grand Bassa lawmaker made the statement recently when he addressed Legislative Press Corps at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.The Senator who celebrated his 54th birthday last Wednesday in Buchanan with an array of fellow lawmakers, family members and friends, expressed the hope that other political parties, including his county’s archrival, the Liberty Party, must now see it prudent to follow the example of Unity Party.In a joyful mood, Senator Findley told journalists that those who think he has failed in his social contract with the citizens of Bassa who elected him nine years ago, will have the shock of their lives when the same Bassonians renew his contract in October.“I have built my report card over the years and come October, the perceived political Goliaths will cease to exist politically.”Speaking on other national issues, Pro Tempore Findley disclosed that the chapter on the fate of the two dismissed leaders of the National Health Workers of Liberia (NHWAL) remains open, even though the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare failed to carry out a 72-hour Senatorial order to reinstate them over a month ago.The two leaders, Joseph Tamba, president, and George William, secretary general, were among 22 health workers dismissed by Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale last February, when health workers carried out a nation-wide go slow in protest of poor working conditions and incentives.Senator Findlay told the press briefing, however, that following the failure of the Ministry to carry out their request, the leadership of the Senate wrote the Executive (Presidency), and that the response to their communication will soon be publicly disclosed.On the recent disclosure by Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly that a certain lawmaker had requested US$800,000.00 of the County Development Fund (CDF) to be placed in his/her personal account, Senator Findley said the Minister will again appear before the Senate Tuesday to throw more light on accusations that he placed moratorium on CDF and Social development Fund; and that four Commissioners whose nominations were rejected by the Senate are still functioning in those positions.But when asked whether Minister Dukuly, who on the request of the Senate last Thursday appeared in executive session with his lawyer, named the lawmaker who requested for the US$800,000.00 to be placed in personal account, the Senator was noncommittal. He reminded journalists that discussions and decisions in executive sessions cannot be divulge to the public.Meanwhile, Minister Dukuly is expected to make another appearance before the Senate tomorrow for more questioning.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Nominees for Chancellor, CJ…despite dismal track record in BelizePresident David Granger is maintaining support for his nominee for Chancellor — Belizean Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin –to take over the judiciary in Guyana despite his performance in Belize being criticised by the Belizean Bar Association.Asked about his nominee’s background on the side-lines of an event on Friday, President Granger reiterated his support for Justice Benjamin, and confronted the issue of the backlog of cases in Belize for which Benjamin was criticised.“I don’t know if there is any Judiciary in the Commonwealth Caribbean which doesn’t have a backlog of cases,” he said. “I don’t think that the allegations of the Bar Association are substantial enough for me to change my opinion. We had a process, by which all persons interested in the position of chancellor had appliedPresident David Grangerand had been interviewed by an expert panel,” he explained.“I am advised by that panel, and I am prepared to stick by the advice of that panel. So I have not changed my view on Justice Benjamin; he’s very competent, he’s Guyanese-born, and I think he’s working towards reducing that backlog.”Asked what distinguishes Benjamin from other potential candidates, Granger reiterated that the interview panel has already evaluated the candidates. He noted that interested persons had a chance to apply, and some — for example, Justice Roxane George — did not.Justice Benjamin was nominated by President Granger for the position of Chancellor, while the current acting Chancellor, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, was nominated for the position of Chief Justice.Back in February, Jagdeo had rejected the two nominees, though he never stated his reasons publicly.The Guyana Bar Association had even passed a motion calling on President Granger to confirm Justices Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Roxane George in the respective positions of Chancellor and Chief Justice.It is expected that Granger will have another meeting with Jagdeo in the near future to sort out these appointments.Before his tenure had come to an end, former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron, had zeroed in on the trend of persons being appointed to top positions in Guyana’s Judiciary, but being forced to act for years while their confirmation remains in limbo.In an address to the Guyana Bar Association, he condemned the fact that since former Chancellor Desiree Bernard had demitted office, an agreement had notJustice Kenneth Benjaminbeen reached for the substantive appointment of a Chancellor.“This has brought us to the situation today, where the number one and number two officials of the Guyana Judiciary have not been substantively appointed. This is a most unfortunate state of affairs,” the legal luminaire had stated.“This situation has moved well beyond what ought to be acceptable in a modern democracy, where respect for the rule of law is maintained.“The Constitution envisages the Judiciary of Guyana to be headed by officials who are substantively appointed and enjoy all the legal and institutional mechanisms to secure their tenure,” Sir Dennis had continued, adding that the delay was a breach of the spirit and intent of the Constitution.Justice Cummings Edwards was appointed by President David Granger in May of this year. Prior to that, she acted as the Chief Justice from December 2015. She was never confirmed to the substantive position.Edwards replaced Justice Carl Singh, who retired after having acted as Chancellor since 2005. On the other hand, the currently Acting Chief Justice, Roxane George, was also appointed to her position on the same day as Edwards.