Senate Cites Foreign Minister Over Commissioning of New Ambassador to U.S. Without Confirmation

MONROVIA, Montserrado – After Grand Bassa’s Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence drew attention to President George Weah’s appointment and commissioning of the ambassador to the U.S. without the Senate’s approval, the Senate has ordered its Committee on Foreign Affairs to probe Foreign Affairs Minister Gbehzohngar Findley on the president’s apparent disregard for the constitution.

The Senate took its action during the first sitting of the second session.

George Patten was nominated by President George Weah on December 29, 2018, to serve as ambassador to the U.S. He was commissioned one day after without a confirmation hearing by the Senate.

At the time of his appointment and commissioning, the legislature had officially closed its first session and was on its annual constituent break.

President Weah commissions George S. Patten as Ambassador to the U.S. Photo courtesy of Executive Mansion

In her communication, Lawrence said the constitution was clear on how officials should assume public office.

“Article 54 says [the] president nominates, and with the consent of the Senate, appoints, and commissions ministers, ambassadors, and consuls, among other officials of government. This is a violation of our constitution,” she wrote.

The motion for the decision to cite the foreign minister was put forth by Grand Kru’s Senator Peter Coleman.

“I move that the foreign affairs minister, Gbehzohngar Findley, appear before the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs to give a reason for the alleged appointment and commissioning of Liberia’s ambassador to the United States of America and report findings to plenary in one week,” Coleman motioned.

According to the Senate’s communication read by the secretary of the Senate, Nanborlor Singbeh, Findley will appear before the Senate’s plenary next Tuesday to explain the alleged commissioning of George Patten as ambassador to the U.S.

Montserrado’s 10th district representation, Yekeh Kolubah, had recently written the U.S. ambassador asking the U.S. government to reject the newly commissioned Liberian ambassador to the U.S., noting that his commissioning was unconstitutional.

“We are calling on the government of the United States not to accept Mr. George W. Pattern as Liberia’s Ambassador to America. He has not been confirmed by the Senate,” Kolubah noted in his communication.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves is a senior student at the University of Liberia studying Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

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