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Suspended Lawmaker pleads for mercy

Suspended Margibi County District #1 Representative Roland Opee Cooper, has written the House’s plenary, pleading for mercy to have his suspension lifted.

In a letter to House Speaker J. Alex Tyler dated April 28, 2015 and read in Session on Tuesday, May 5, Representative Cooper informed his colleagues that he has already served two of his three months suspension, reminding them of an earlier letter of apology sent recently in which he regretted an unruly incident.

Plenary suspended the Margibi District #1 lawmaker on 26 February 2015 for assaulting Bong County Electoral District 2 Representative Bill Corneh while in session.

According to Rule 42.2 of the House Standing Rules and Procedures, no member of that August body shall insult, abuse or harass another person (s) within the confines of the House, or cause disturbance to the activities of the House.

 “Honorable Speaker and Distinguished Colleagues, in view of the aforesaid, I am asking you to please pardon me”, Representative Cooper’s communication read.

The Margibi Electoral District # 1 Representative regretted his action and extended apology to his colleagues and pleaded for the suspension to be lifted.

Having read and listened to Hon. Cooper’s communication, the House’s Plenary forwarded the communication to the House’s Statutory Committee on Rules, Order and Administration.

The plenary of the House of Representatives suspended three of its members without pay and mandated two others to write a letter of apology each for their actions. 

Representatives Roland Opee Cooper (Liberty Party) of District #1 Margibi County Electoral District#1, Henry Fahnbulleh (Unity Party)  of District #4 Montserrado County Electoral District#4,  and Samuel Korgar (National Union for Development Progress) f #5 Nimba County Electoral District #5 were suspended in keeping with rule 47.1, the committee said.

Plenary also voted in favor of the committee's recommendation for Representatives Edwin Snowe of Montserrado County Electoral District#6 and Bill Twehway of Montserrado County Electoral District#3 to write letters of apology to that body in keeping with rules 42.2 and 42.1 of the House. 

The plenary's decision is as the result of investigation conducted by the House Committee on Rules, Orders and Administration in keeping with a mandate received on 22 January 2015 to investigate the disturbance caused by some members of the House of Representatives.

The committee is headed by Grand Bassa County District # 4 Representative, Jeh Byron Browne. 

In a related development, Margibi County Electoral District#2 Representative Ballah Zayzay, has similarly written Plenary, appealing to that highest decision making body to reduce the suspension of Hon. Roland Cooper from three to two months.

“Hon. Speaker and fellow colleagues, I strongly believe and convince that this reconsideration of this decision will re-engender the long outstanding relationship that has existed among us as Honorable Members of the 53rd National Legislature”. Representative Zayzay pleaded with his colleagues. 

Both communications were sent to the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration for scrutiny with a mandate to report in one month, following their reading and to report to plenary in one week.

By Ben P. Wesee 

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