McGill Defends CDC’s Code of Conduct ‘Violation’

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Minister of State and former CDC chairman, Nathaniel F. McGill

But NPA Managing Director remains in the confines of the law

The reported violation of the National Code of Conduct (COC) as a result of the recent appointment of several top presidential appointees by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is causing an apparent row within the government with mixed reactions from officials.

Since the pronouncement by CDC Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, of a 500-man campaign team headed by the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wilson Tarpeh, the public has been outraged over what they call the blatant violation of the COC, with many calling on President George Weah to not allow his officials to take up those positions.

But in an apparent reaction to Liberians who are criticizing the CDC’s decision, Minister of States for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill has said that those who feel offended by the party’s decision should rather go to Court.

Speaking at a press conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, Minister McGill said that the COC has been violated in the past, especially during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and wonders why Liberians are now pointing accusing fingers at the CDC.

“Let me tell you something about the COC that you are talking about. When the COC was crafted, we challenged people on the basis of our thinking that the code was being violated as some people who were contesting in the 2017 elections had not resigned two years prior to the elections as indicated by the COC. But the Supreme Court told us that we were wrong,” Minister McGill said.

Another issue raised by the President’s Chief of Staff is the absence of an ombudsman who is tasked by the COC to enforce the law. “The next thing we should know is that there is no ombudsman to enforce the Code,” he said.

The minister now wonders from whence now do Liberians come to question the decision of the CDC.

“So, where were the Liberian people when the High Court dismissed our case? People even resigned the same day and contested the elections the same day when the law says they should resign two years before the elections—it is in the COC. Who said these things were not correct? Wasn’t it the Supreme Court that made the interpretation?” he asked rhetorically, adding, “So if you think anyone is violating the COC, they should go to court.”

Minister McGill mentioned former Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, as a case in point for previous violations of the COC.

“My friend, Eugene Nagbe, was Minister of Information and at the same time serving as Secretary-General of the Unity Party at that time. Did he resign? But that’s our time now you want to say we are violating because you can talk,” he said.

Prior to Minister McGill’s press conference, the Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Bill Twehway, said in an interview early Tuesday morning that the President was about to ask all presidential appointees to relinquish their party-appointed positions in accordance with the code of conduct.

Mr. Twehway insinuated that President Weah will call on those wanting to retain their posts in the government to resign from the CDC campaign team for the pending December 8, senatorial elections.

The NPA boss assured that as an appointed official, he will not violate the law, noting that he has already tendered his letter of resignation to Chairman Morlu.

But the statement from Twehway, who himself was appointed by Chairman Morlu, was rebuffed by Minister McGill who insists that the President will only act if the ruling party is challenged in court and proven wrong. “If you go to court and challenge the party’s decision and prove it, then the President will take action—everything President, President, President,” said.

But the NPA MD has since tendered in his resignation from the party’s campaign team in respect to the COC.

“I have tendered in my letter of resignation and it is in the office of the party chairman,” he said.

Twehway said his appointment is a violation of the Code of Conduct and, as a law-abiding citizen, he cannot perform a task that is in violation of national law.

The ruling Congress for Democratic Change has set up its campaign team with an approach of re-enforcing its political strength from the grass root, especially in Montserrado County where 500 campaign managers would work along with the national campaign committee ahead of the December senatorial elections.

The CDC Chairman named Prof. Wilson, Mr. Twehway as County Coordinators, along with Liberia’s Accountant and Comptroller General (CAG), Janga Kowo, as Head of Campaign Secretariat, while Education Minister Prof. D. Ansu Sonii was named Chairman for Region-1.  Professor Tarpeh is still in the public eyes for the way he has been handling the stimulus package that the government intended to give households whose livelihoods were severely constrained due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Also, as a university Professor believed to be very popular in the student community, Professor Tarpeh had contested two elections in Montserrado for the senatorial seat but lost all.

However, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) said it is disappointed in the ruling CDC over the appointment of top officials to its campaign team — terming the move as a gross violation of section five of the Code of Conduct.

Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that: All officials appointed by the President should not engage in political activities, canvass, or contest for elected offices and serve on a campaign team of any political party.

ECC Chairman, Atty. Oscar Bloh, noted that CDC’s action is in breach of the COC—a move that greatly undermines the integrity of the country’s democracy — adding that democratic governance is meaningless when the laws governing the conduct of elections are disrespected, ignored, and violated.

“The conduct of election does not guarantee democracy, as the foundation of democracy is grounded in respect for the rule of law — noting further that when this happens, democracy grows, deepens, and consolidates,” the ECC boss said.

Atty. Bloh added that the ECC is not ignorant of marring ongoing elections in the region, especially in neighboring Guinea and Ivory Coast, and calls on the political parties to demonstrate restraint, diligence and due care to avoid any form of electoral violence.

He said the peace in the region is already fragile due to the ongoing political processes and President Weah must do all he can to reduce the high risk of fragility.

13 COMMENTS

  1. McGill just needs to keep quiet and find two seats to sit down somewhere.

    For 12 good years he and the rest of CDC ran to every radio station and website bashing Ellen and highlighting all the vices in her government. Now that they are in power, you would think that they would govern differently and become an embodiment of the change they preached about for all those years.

    NOPE.

    Unfortunately, broad daylight stealing, enriching themselves at the detriment of the poor masses, and violating key laws that function as the bedrock of our democracy are their sorry ways of governing. These inept rogues are taking the Liberian people for granted.

    They will pay for this nonsense. The TWP, Doe, and Taylor can relate.

  2. POSTED AT 10:40 PM EST ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2020

    I’ve always wondered why none of the Liberian stakeholders [ political parties, legislators, the media, etc.] has mentioned anything about the Hatch Act of the United States.

    It is the best legislation to guide code of conduct of public officials when it comes to politics and campaigning.

    The Hatch Act was enacted in the 1930s and has undergone some amendments over the decades.

    I hope readers can take the time to research it.

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Another dead man walking in his wet dreams concerning the Code of Conduct and it violations by the CDC regime of George. He his just full of himself that what the monkey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did, the black monkey of George can do the same.
    So unsolved mysterious deaths occurred under the regime of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, so too unsolved mysterious deaths must occurred under George. The practiced of monkey see monkey do by the regime of George is evident that the regime does not not mean well for the citizens. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! This dead man walking is full of himself. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! What Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, did George fez do . Ha h ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Simply put, silly fools.

  4. How government officials conduct themselves or are regulated in the course of discharging their duties in Liberia doesn’t have to be called “Hatch Act,” Renford. For too long have we replicated everything US, it’s about time we liberated our minds in being creative and inventive too. And whether we call it Hatch Act or Code of Conduct , same difference. The variation in the premise is with adherence, or lack thereof to treatises. We codifiy these wonderful laws/regulations to safeguard against arbitrariness or irrational behaviors in our socio-politico intercourses, yet we trounce those very marks of civilization simply because of who we think we are, above everyone and everything so those regulations don’t apply to us.

    Hear the ludicrous and preposterous rationale this buffoon who supposed to be the chief administrator of the cabinet gives to defend this wanton violation of the COC. That because the previous government did it, so they too, have the right to do the same and the rest of us should either shut up, or take our cries to the other auxiliary of their party, the court.

    These guys are so clueless! Little do they realize these are the very little miscalculations that create tensions in societies and needlessly. First of all, this decision was foolhardy and therefore illadvised. But the optics in reversing that obvious gaffe would have accrued for them a huge political dividend. The uninitiated of us would have credited them as reasonable, rational, levelheaded and a people with the humility to listen to their people. Just like the guy at the NPA did. But noooo, blustering grandiosity must always be their first weapon of choice. But how long is 6 years? And simply in deference to a war-weary situation. Otherwise!

    • Thank you, bro. I like very much your scholarly take on this issue. We all know the likes of McGill and co, including the president are a most sorryful (excuse my coinage) mistake in the political outplay in this our motherland. But time is the greatest and final judge of all actions. Time will judge them using us, the masses and there’ll be no room for escape for them and their cohorts.

  5. So, is this what “Change for Hope” means?! How can you, as the most powerful minister in the country, say that someone should take the party to court if he/she feels that the COC has been violated, and then say it was done during President Sirleaf’s time in office? Apparently, this type of behavior will not give us hope!

  6. Passing the buck is refusing to take responsibility for doing what is right. That the past administration violated the Code of Conduct is no excuse for this current administration to violate the Code of Conduct. In years gone by, you, Nathaniel McGill and others agitated and campaigned for change – “Change for hope” as you called it. Now that you are in charge, the onus is on you to govern in a different and better way that adheres to the rule of law. To tread the same ugly path your predecessors trod yesterday makes you WORSE than your predecessors, simply because you have the advantage of hindsight. Take responsibility and govern properly. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACT IN KEEPING WITH THE LAW OF THE LAND. DO WHAT IS RIGHT BY YOUR PEOPLE AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC.

  7. The entire mnisters need a makeover. McGill looks like an unwashed, unshaved and unemployed homeless vagrant. Does he think he look good or hip? The image should be one of intelligence not some zogo trying to look like a youth.

  8. The beret says it all. These guys are back in the days of the war. They is nothing democratic about them. They are “revolutionairies” and militants. What do you expect ?

  9. The general of the grave robbers’ squad, McGill, is dressed in one of his best cannibalistic attires. This guy is blood thirsty and if nobody believes this, then I urge him or her to take a look at his crimson, red cap. Not as much as the style of the cap is concerned as is the significance of its color of crimson red. Red means danger.

    Look at the cap carefully and read the signs folks! The ghoulish general is ready and is willing to shed the blood of more people so long his end justifies his means.

    McGill’s world is not about building and strengthening democratic institutions, reviving the economy, and strengthening integrity institutions to combat corrupt and unethical behaviors in government. This man’s background is rooted in savagery and barbarity.

    I maybe called a doomsday prophet; anyway, I cannot help but to say that based on past events in Liberia, my inklings lead me to believe there is more to come especially after the CDC is completely done rigging the elections, and the results of which shall have turned the country topsy-turvy and ungovernable. The ensuing years after this rigged election will be very tumultuous as they will be precipitated by heavier government crackdowns against opposition groups and members of the press.

    Liberia will once again suffer more brain drain as the country will witness one of the biggest flights of its intellectuals for the fear of threats on their lives and the security of their families and relatives.

    The prospect for the growth in education and training for the youth of Liberia will get dimmer and dimmer. Economic prosperity will continue to trend downward for the fact that investors have lost confidence in the integrity of the Weah’s administration to unite the country and set her on the proper trajectory to achieve such ends.

  10. Minister McGill, do not waste your breadth on these ignoramus noise makers. They fail to realize that WHAT MATTERS IS SUBSTANTIAL PERFORMANCE! And this RULE OF LAW has long been handed down by The Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia. The need to go for a workshop under the tutorship of former Associate Justice of The Supreme Court Philip AZ Banks the learned Justice and Counsellor At Law.

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