Senator-Elect Vows to Push for Change in Election Act

River Gee County Senator-elect, Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie, has frowned on the Act that created the National Election Commission and gave it power for the organization and administration of elections. 

“When you feel disenfranchised or disenchanted, you will have to sue NEC to NEC, and what do you expect the result to be? We will seek to change that, otherwise, serious problems like what is happening now in the Ivory Coast and Guinea will happen here.”

He, therefore, suggested that a momentary court be set up purposely for only electioneering period.

On another election-related issue, Senator-elect Sogbie has lamented that the country will be going to four by-elections, which may cause the government almost US$4 million because some sitting Representatives want more years in the Legislature without completing the term the people elected them for; a situation he says the country does not have money for.

Mr. Sogbie, who contested on the ticket of Collaborating Political Parties, has described as “Wasteful spending” for the government, the desire of lawmakers from the Lower House to abandon their unfinished terms to vie for positions through the special senatorial elections.

“Why do we have by-election when someone is being replaced or someone is seeking greater advantages of few years to be added to their years when, as a matter of fact, the Constitution gives a mandate of six years as a Representative; if you choose not to accept those six years and you want to go for nine, then you will have to resign your position because the law must benefit the greater good of the people, not that of an individual,” Sogbie argues.

“So if you have your personal issue with six or nine years, resign your position and when we are having your election that will give you nine years, we will simultaneously be holding the other election to avoid a by-election.

According to Sogbie, to avoid by-election in the Legislature of the United States in the wake of a vacancy, a council of state appoints an individual to fill that position until a general election is held, to apparently avoid waste of money.

On his relation with President George Weah his national teammate, the River Gee County Senator-elect said though his former national football teammate remains his good friend, he does not believe in his vision, ideology and leadership.

The Senator-elect told the media that he has never supported President Weah politically, stressing that the President has never had a problem with him with respect to their interactions. “Yes, we disagree to agree. I have a different view which does not make me a backstabber as allegedly been gossipped. I don’t believe in his vision; I don’t believe in his ideology and his leadership,” Mr. Sogbie said Monday in Monrovia on local radio.

Sogbie recalled that when his former soccer teammate won the Presidency, he called and congratulated him, “Even though he has not responded to that message I sent him; I recognize him as President of this country.”

He continued: “What I have come to do is to create those barricades, those hurdles that will look directly at those things that are good and beneficial to the Liberian people, and we will help the government push that line. But trust me, if something is bad and people are being induced to capitulate, I will come to the court of public opinion to let the people know that those in the majority did what they did; I will also try to ensure that we institute a role system where each person will be accountable on how he or she votes on issues so that we will let our people know.”

He promised to join his colleagues to do the right things and make sure to support the government’s agenda where it is in the interest of the Liberian people, “But anything to the contrary notwithstanding…”

Sogbie, however, cautioned his friends and the citizens not to expect too much too soon: “We will come to you who have the requisite expertise to tap into your reserve, because no one person has monopoly over knowledge.”

The former Invincible Eleven striker promised to work with his colleagues to try to correct what he termed as the odds that are becoming the norms within the Legislature, an apparent reference to allegations of lawmakers receiving  “brown envelopes” as inducement before passing certain legislations, saying it shows no pride in the dignity of labor.  “So we will try to correct the wrongs within our power and territorial limits in the house of elders (Senate).”

At his county representation, Sogbie promised to prioritize the agriculture sector through the future introduction of mechanized farming, which he admitted is very difficult due to the very bad road connectivity, but not insurmountable.

“To my colleagues who just got elected or reelected, I want to thank you for your courage and tenacity that you have shown; and let us work together for the good of our common patrimony, Liberia.”

As a kid coming up, the River Gee County Senator-elect narrated that he always had the mindset of being first among equals, which he said does not necessarily mean at the top, but being at the decision-making table. “I continuously did that even on the national team, the Lone Star. I had to make certain decisions that affected the group that went against other people, and at the end of the day people saw that I was right; and whenever I decide to do something and I am convinced of my conviction I will go for it. These are all tendencies of a good leader.”

Mr. Sogbie’s political sojourn started in 2009, when he participated in the election following the death of Senator Isaac N. Johnson, followed by two others, the most highly contested being the 2014 special Senatorial election won by current Senator Conmany B. Wesseh.

On the question of why he continued to go for seat at the Legislature despite successive failures, Mr. Sogbie intimated that no one in life is a failure, except he is not trying to succeed.

“Whenever you fall and get the courage to rise up, it serves as a lesson to make two mistakes at two separate times; only successful people got stories, and today this victory is indicative of that concept that if Boye Charles can do it, another person can do it.”

Senator Sogbie, meanwhile, has expressed frustration over the state of his former local club, Invincible Eleven which he personally supported both financially and  for four years materially.

“My heart bleeds for our darling club, Invincible Eleven, that we don’t have the possibility that we have before; by the grace of God we will ascend to prominence again, and we will do that, which is necessary to see the resurrection of our darling club to nobler heights, I promise you that.”He then called for a momentary court purposely for only the electioneering period. He then called for a momentary court purposely for only electioneering period.