In a fervent display of support, over 40 elected Representatives of the incoming 55th Legislature have reaffirmed their commitment to elect Deputy Speaker Jonathan Fonati Koffa as the next Speaker. The lawmakers, totaling 41, gathered at the Roberts International Airport to warmly welcome Rep. Koffa upon his return from the United States, signaling a strong start to his campaign.
Addressing the media, Deputy Speaker Koffa highlighted a shift in the traditional approach to selecting speakers, emphasizing transparency and public endorsement. He expressed confidence that his colleagues would steadfastly stand behind him, highlighting the consistency with which they have publicly supported his candidacy.
While Rep. Koffa has built a reputation as a consensus builder, challenges may arise due to the Coalition for Democratic Change, his party, transitioning into the opposition. Analysts speculate on the potential hurdles he might face in defeating the ruling party’s candidate, especially with the emergence of a collective race involving Richard Nagbe Koon and Musa Hansan Bility for the speakership.
Undeterred by these challenges, Rep. Koffa underscored his confidence in the numerical strength supporting his bid, emphasizing the independent-mindedness and integrity of the Legislature. He dismissed concerns about his ability to secure victory, reiterating that he has the necessary support.
Responding to inquiries about his priorities, Rep. Koffa pledged a people-centric approach, ensuring that support to the Liberian people would be transparently distributed through the national budget. He affirmed his commitment to giving due consideration to the agenda of the incoming administration, advocating for a fair and equitable allocation of resources.
In his bid for the speakership, Rep. Koffa pledged to avoid partisanship and maintain neutrality despite being in the opposition. He promised a tenure marked by robustness and transparency, with a focus on accountability. Within his first 100 days, he plans to implement electronic voting in the House of Representatives, demonstrating his commitment to modernizing legislative processes.
“As Speaker, I will serve the national interest, and the ruling government can trust my commitment,” declared Deputy Speaker Koffa. With the House of Representatives comprising 73 members, Rep. Koffa’s challenge is to secure a simple majority of 37 votes. The elections for both the speaker and deputy speaker are scheduled for January 15, 2024.