Death of Sen. Doe-Sherif, First in 54th Legislature

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The junior senator for Montserrado County, Geraldine Doe Sheriff, has died. Just five days shy of her 52nd birthday (February 14), family sources confirmed that her long-fought battle with cancer had come to an end.

“In this moment of pain, sadness and mourning, on behalf of my own, and on behalf of the Liberian Senate, I express my deepest condolences and entire solidarity with the family of Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, in mourning,” Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence told the Daily Observer yesterday.

After Jewel Howard Taylor — one of three female senators in 2017 — ascended to the Vice Presidency as running mate to George M. Weah who became President of the Republic of Liberia in 2018, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence and the late Sen. Doe-Sherif were the two remaining female Senators in the august body. Replacing Sen. Taylor was Dr. Henrique Tokpa, making the Senate chamber of the 54th Legislature 28 male to two female senators.

“Hmmmm!! Difficult one! She had so much energy and self confidence! She was bold and fearless! She was my partner and seat mate in the Senate chamber, we had a code and a sign to show when we were in a fight together,” said Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, now the lone female Senator.

“Our voices complemented one another, that made us louder than 28 men.

“We got even closer when she got sick, we got to know the actual human and spiritual side of one another, we prayed together and trusted God together.”

She added: “I feel like I am falling apart, but God is in control.”

“The floor fighter! The General!
Executive! My girl! Lady Zico!
The block leader!”

Sen. Doe-Sherif, the Senior Senator of Montserrado County, who is one of the longest served Chairperson on the Executive, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence said that her colleagues death has created a vacuum in the Senate, and her works will be unparalleled.

As of Tuesday, February 12, black or an appropriate mourning cloth will be hung at the Senate Wing of the Legislature.

Sen. Doe-Sherif, has been battling cancer for over 14 months. Family sources confirmed the news late Saturday and Liberian Senate has formally announced regrets. The Senator succumbed to the killer disease at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital in Accra, Ghana, where she had gone for treatment.

The death of Sen. Doe-Sherif marked the second death in the Liberian Senate in seven years. Sen. Johnson Whitfied of Grand Bassa County died in 2017. Her death also marked the first death in the 54th Legislature, since it was seated on January 15, 2018.

During her tenure in the Senate, she served as chair on Executive, chair of the Committee on Transport and co-chair the committee on Commerce, Trade, and Industry. She also previously served as a member of the Ways, Means, Finance & Budget Committee; Social Security, Pension and Insurance; Public Accounts and Audits; Education and Public Administration.

In a gutsy move in May 2014, Doe-Sherif announced her departure from the CDC.

In January 2018, the Senator boldly considered vying for President Pro Tempore of the Senate, in spite of speculations that he was not qualified for the post. Eventually Senator Albert Tugbe Chie was unanimously elected to the position.

The former Montserrado County Senator, popularly known as “Lady Zico” following her previous football career and the former Chairperson of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), was elected Senator 2009 following the death of Senator Hannah Brent also of the CDC. Having completed the late Brent’s term, Senator Doe-Sheriff was re-elected in 2011 to become senior senator for the County. With her death, it means Sen. Doe-Sheriff has served the Senate from 2009 to February 9, 2019. Pending recovery, she would have been up for re-election in the 2020 special senatorial elections.

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