Gov’t Convenes Political Peace Forum

16
2088
Bishop Hart, ICL

The Government of Liberia is endeavoring to ensure a peaceful electoral process that will subsequently culminate in a smooth transition for the first time in over 40 years. To accomplish that objective, a two-day national political forum is scheduled to be held beginning today, Wednesday, May 31, at the Monrovia City Hall.

The forum appears to be an effort to diffuse the tremendous tension generated in the country since the upholding of the constitutionality of the Code of Conduct (CoC) by the Supreme Court of Liberia.

The two-day event with all political parties in the country, except the All Liberian Party of Benoni Urey, is aimed at having them commit to the maintenance of peace in the country. The ALP said in a statement that it does not trust the government of Liberia supporting the forum because of its many violations that have muddled the playing field and hurt other political parties.

The opposition All Liberia Party (ALP) has objected to being a part of the forum and said it would not attend.

The ALP, in a statement to Bishop Hart, president and chairman of the steering committee of the Interreligious Council of Liberia, said the premise of the forum is “unduly redundant, in light of the fact that there is already an Inter-Party Consultative Committee at the National Elections Commission, which addresses these identical issues that are being raised.

“We have, and always shall remain committed to the preservation of peace and stability in our country,” said the letter dated May 24 and signed by J.S.B. Theodore Momo, Jr., national chairman of the party.

“The ALP is resolved not to participate in any forum designed by this government. Moreover, we discern the handiwork of unpatriotic Liberians, who have perennially masterminded acts of constitutional abuses.”

Many opposition leaders believe that the intent of the forum is to find common ground on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the CoC.

The Supreme Court upheld the Code of Conduct, a ruling that has given rise to public skepticism about the qualifications of some presidential aspirants to participate in the elections.

Part V, Section (1) a, b, and c, of the Code of Conduct bars executive appointees – government officials appointed by the President – from seeking elected office. It states that those who want to run for elected office should resign two or three years ahead of the elections.

Many opposition parties have complained about what they see as “the blatant violation of the CoC” by the ruling Unity Party with Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Len Eugene Nagbe, and other top officials serving simultaneously in key positions of the UP.

However, at a recent press stakeout during the visit of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo, President Sirleaf was reported to have said that “All Liberians will participate and will exercise their choice. And I believe that our leaders, our political candidates, will all be a part of it and will ensure that the process is successfully conducted, allowing Liberians for the first time in 48 years to make a transition from one elected president to another elected president.”

A member of the secretariat of the organizing committee confirmed to the Daily Observer that the forum is aimed at securing a path of peace throughout the election process.

“We are expecting the political leaders of all of the parties to be in attendance and commit themselves to a violence free electoral process. Also expected to attend are members of various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), traditional leaders and members of the diplomatic community.”

The forum is being organized by the Interreligious Council of Liberia in collaboration with the Governance Commission (GC) with support from the central government and other partners.

It may be recalled that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while delivering her final State of the Nation address in January, proposed holding a two-day electoral forum, appointing the Chairman of the Governance Commission, Amos C. Sawyer, to lead the process.

The President at the time described the ensuing elections as the greatest test of Liberia’s democracy. “As we prepare to start campaigning in a few months, I propose a two-day electoral forum, with all political parties and registered independent presidential candidates, to discuss issues pertaining to the electoral process and arrive at a common ground for the campaign and its aftermath,” she said.

“I have asked Dr. Amos Sawyer to convene the meeting. Apart from having played a leading role in crafting the current Constitution, he presided over the interim arrangement and has served as election monitor in multiple places on the continent. He will be the best person to lead such a process. As soon as we work out logistics, in the next few days, Dr. Sawyer will be asked to proceed.”

16 COMMENTS

  1. Can this gathering of political parties and other stakeholders make any difference from the one already agreed to, at the National Elections Commission {NEC}? I’m not sure if this two-day gathering will make any much difference; otherwise, the political parties have already committed themselves to create conditions for a violence free electoral process.

    However, a few political parties, especially those that are opting for the Controversial Code of Conduct Law to be effected to the letter, are afraid that the pending gathering is intended to influence the discussion on the relaxation of certain portions of the code of conduct, which is already law.

  2. Does it hurt to reemphasize the points of interest? And how come all the other parties see this forum differently than you and your ALP think-alike? As I see it, this behavior is typical of losers in any competition. Quick on “bouncing grumble” because they stand no chance in the game. But we too, will be watching this ALP’s every move, statement and action throughout this process. Amend thank God the it rascal head-in-chief has much at stake, just in case they have other plans. TWT! J…Carpe diem!

  3. Revised:
    Does it hurt to reemphasize the points of interest? And how come all the other parties see this forum differently than you and your ALP think-alike? As I see it, this behavior is typical of losers in any competition. Quick on “bouncing grumble” because they stand no chance in the game. But we too, will be watching this ALP’s every move, statement and action throughout this process. And thank God their rascal head-in-chief has much at stake, just in case they have other plans. TWT! …Carpe diem!

  4. German Philosopher Frederick Neitzsche didn’t hide his contempt for untrustworthy people when he said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”. Which brings us to the reservations of Urey and the ALP that: a) they don’t “trust” the sponsors of the forum, b) it would be “unduly redundant” since NEC has already initiated one, and c) the May 24 letter of Secretary General Mommoh unambiguously states that the party is “committed to the preservation of peace and stability in our country”.

    Why then accuse ALP of “bouncing grumble”, or call its leader “rascal head – in – chief”? Doesn’t the party, 1) have right to refuse toeing the line of a president whom many believe isn’t neutral, 2) didn’t fulfill her campaign promises to the populace, and 3) betrayed the trust of the nation by failure to demonstrate responsive responsible political leadership? We ask these questions because covert agents are on a misinformation offensive to divert public attention from rumored hidden agenda to deny the will of the electorates.

    Well, news flash, the people are vigilant, and keenly “watching” the meandering maneuvers. But, most importantly, the only guarantor of peace is free fair ethical elections, and not the formation of a forum. For heaven’s sake, why consult the Oracle of Delphi for a clue in plain sight? Never mind, it isn’t surprising that when sharks feign blindness, fishes sense sinister motives, and stay far away from the expected attack Folks, last word: Forum or no forum, don’t “mess” with the elections.

  5. The very Sawyer who had it not been for the stern resistance from the public attempted to have the statutory law and it’s constitutional guarantee and safeguards TRAMPLED ON AND VIOLATED to legitimize his chronic and notorious untrustworthy character and nature organizing not to talk about heading such a useless forum speak volumes of the falsehood and rotteness of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s mentality. ALP IS 100% RIGHT!

  6. This is a backdoor pre-elections commitment and prelude to “formation of a interim government.”
    No need for such for a forum. Liberians are prepare for a peaceful elections and peace in Liberia. These hidden hands behind “political forum” are the dark hands responsible for Liberia’s political state of affairs and political manipulations. Why are they’re worrying and concerning about when President Sirleaf’s government is conducting the elections, and most importantly, her vice president is a candidate. This is NOT about peaceful elections, it’s about TRUST.
    Liberians and Liberia must not buy into this scheme by political manipulators! This is the very group that violated our constitution by forming interim government in Banjul, Gambia with a legitimate president Doe still in power and denied the sitting Vice President Harry Moniba to succeed President Doe. They’ve failed to deliver for years.

  7. “Moose”(Amos Sawyer) , a surrogate of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is at it again. Through tricks and artifice, wants to plant a leader on the Liberian people. Let it be known that any attempt to trample upon our democracy will be met by stern actions from the people. Mr. Sawyer and Madam Sirleaf let sleeping dog lie. Stop messing with our democracy. Let the people decide whom they want as their leader. You can not decide for the people. This is “guided democracy.” You do not have the monopoly over ideas. Give the Liberian people the chance to choose their own leader impeded. Stop usurping authority from the Election Commission. Stop your non-sense. We did not elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who has failed us over the years to determine who succeeds her. That decision (that is, the decision as to who succeeds her ) rests solely with the people. What all this non-sense about peace? Are we at war? Let the sovereign people decide who they want to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Not “Moose”(Sawyer) or Ellen can decide this. Stop your tricks. Sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. Let the Election Commission conduct these election peaceably. You, Moose and Ellen are both trouble makers. Stop your continue non-sense. We are tired with both of you meddling in Liberia’s democracy.

  8. Urey is right!!!! “Moose” and Ellen want to derail our democracy. They want to give us a leader of their choice. Boycott their meeting if you love Liberia. These losers want to mislead the Liberian people to the path of ultimate disaster. Stay away from their meeting. It is a trap. Ellen can not be President and the Election Commissioner at the same time. Remember, “Fools rush where Angels fear to tread.” Stay away, stay away, from their so called “meeting.”

  9. It is seriously unfortunate to see Sawyer, Ellen and their group continue to keep Liberia in a crisis situation which all the time benefits them.

    What makes them think by having a political forum to break the law for the benefit of affected politicians is a good idea to maintain peace? I know their intention is the opposite because as we are getting closer to the real stable Liberia they are afraid.

    I hope this forum is not intended to compromise any of Liberia’s laws, including the code of conduct, the civil war has been over almost fifteen years now and we should allow the law to make us behave.

  10. An anonymous philosopher once said, “Fear is an insidious virus. Given a breeding place in our minds, it will permeate the whole body of our work; it will eat away our spirit and block the forward path of endeavors.”

    In Liberia and many places with autocratic leadership, the fear of losing power has become the greatest enemy of progress. These insecure leaders focus their energy on maintaining power and fail to do the right thing for their people and country. This truth is self-evident in Liberia: from past and present leaders that have governed Liberia to bring this beauty landscape to its present day demise.

    Nonetheless, our so-called sanctimonious (self-righteous/morally superior) leaders fail to realize it not about them. No matter how much conniving and circumventing the constitution to hold onto power, they fail to realize leadership is sacrificial. It is about putting the people and country first above self-aggrandizement. It is about making progress for the people and country. Progress is a continuum. It must move on in the face of criticism and other negative devices.

    Progress does not linger to consider microscopically the implications of each particular action despite how costly it made be. Only small and over-cautious self-seeking political minds see the shadows of lurking political enemies and unforeseeable unfair and disruptive election in Liberia.

    Therefore, the solution to remedy all the self-inflicted evils that have been done to the people and country over the years is to hastily devise schemes in the pretense of securing the peace for a free, fair and peaceful election. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    Yes indeed, if our overzealous leaders could only do the right thing, then they can relish in these words of wisdom from Franklin D. Roosevelt, who said in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”.

    If our leaders can only do the right thing in Liberia, “the only thing they have to fear in this up-coming election is fear itself”.

  11. Correction: the last sentence, 2nd paragraph should read: This truth is self-evident in Liberia: from past to present leaders that have governed Liberia to bring this beautiful landscape to its present day demise.

  12. As for Bishop Hart, he should not be involved in a forum as such; knowing that Liberia’s Christianity is firm on the separation of the church and the state. More the that, if this religious leader deceives our faith or if he thinks he can wear the Jesus’ crown of thorns it is left with him, not the church. Whether you can face it or not, Liberians are most Christians. Mutter Politics with Ellen Sirleaf and Amos Sawyer will not work. No externals will deceive the destiny of peace in the Liberian nation again as was done by Dr. Amos Sawyer when he leveled with Ellen’s 34% and Winston Tubman’s 9% registered votes that almost brought back violence in this nation. It is the 57% majority that saved this nation, now in control of Liberia’s Presidential election. It is this majority that allowed this last group of crisis minority to stay in power under its control all this decade to avoid war, regardless so called peace makers within. It is this 57% that decides the peace of the presidency in 2017. It is the people of the Republic of Liberia that own their direction. DO NOT REPLY. Gone in silence.
    JTDiggs

  13. Neither Amos Sawyer nor Ellen Johnson has the capability or capacity to convene a forum as search based on the past screwing-up of the 1847 constitution of which Sawyer was a part and the inability to reduce tension during his term as an external Interim President. Sawyer, to gain such respect for such gathering, should have not joined a minority group, Ellen’s 34% after becoming Interim. His greed for power to be part of Government, made him not a peacemaker but a flip-flap blowing with the wind. As for Ellen, she did not win but 34% of registered voters, Winston Tubman, 9% after boy cutting, both not enough to be a President of Liberia. The only reason why we have intangible peace right now in Liberia is because our forefathers, founders, provided hidden instincts in our heritage that left a silent majority 57% that now controls the Presidential authority of this state. Based on the +50% required by the 1847 Constitution also enhanced in the present constitution, we will not allow political mutter to be the base of the nation’s freedom to vote in peace. It is the Liberian people who decide their own peace. Not external pressures, parties, or minority groups. The only majority to the Presidency of Liberia right now is the silent 57% which has the power and will decide the fate of the October 10, 2017 election.

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