Former Central Bank Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones’ insistence to his partisans across the country that his name would be on the ballot for this year’s October 10 presidential elections came to pass when the National Elections Commission (NEC) certificated him last Thursday in Monrovia, party sources told the Daily Observer yesterday.
Dr. Jones is the standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE).
Known as ‘Poverty Doctor,’ Dr. Jones’ certification cleared the doubts surrounding the controversial Code of Conduct, though he had told his partisans that he had not violated any Liberian law to be barred from participating for political office. When the Code of Conduct was initially crafted and enacted and was upheld by the Supreme Court of Liberia, many Liberians had thought that Dr. Jones was its main target. This stemmed from the financial inclusion policy Dr. Jones implemented throughout the country that enabled market women and many of those who had no access to the banking sector to be able to get loans to manage their businesses. In his tours across the country, Dr. Jones told thousands of Liberians that poverty is not their destiny, that Liberia is a land of possibilities and therefore, through his MOVEE political party, he would change the destiny of the Liberian people.
He told his partisans that “change is coming,” and that they can become part of that inevitable change. He has also wondered why, after 170 years of statehood, Liberia has not gained the level of development that befits her. Dr. Jones has also spoken against tribal politics, insisting during his tours in the country that those preaching tribal politics are those with nothing to offer the country.
Dr. Jones’ certification last Thursday was celebrated at the party’s headquarters, and throughout the country. During visits to the Bong County towns of Salala, Totota, Bolola and Gbarnga, he dispelled the news that had reached hundreds of partisans about his denial to run for president. “My name will be on the ballot on October 10,” he told them as they cheered him on. At an occasion, market women who had earlier heard the news wept, but when they were told the story was not true, they began to praise the Lord Jesus Christ.
At another occasion, Dr. Jones made reference to the national anthem of Liberia, which Liberians have been singing for over a century, that says “With our hearts united, We’ll shout the freedom, Of a race benighted,” and expressed disagreement over the part that says “of a race benighted.” He said “a race benighted” is against the development of the country, for which Liberians had been made to feel “ignorant, unenlightened and disadvantaged” a long time ago.
Meanwhile, according to the National Elections Commission website, the MOVEE party members who are cleared along with Dr. Jones are Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., Vice President; Flomo, James C. R. Male Representative Bong District 4; Arthur Kangar, Representative Rivercess District 1; Thomas W. O. King, Representative Montserrado District 11; Prince Leo Kponbowoe, Representative Montserrado District 1; Leo Mulbah, Representative Montserrado District 10; Olu Nangbah, Representative Gbarpolu District 1; Josephus M. Paye, Sr, Representative Nimba District 6; and Arthur Dee Whenyou, Margibi District 1.
With the way now clear for Dr. Jones, and some candidates who were initially rejected by the National Elections Commission, many of their sympathizers told the Daily Observer there should be no distraction to derail the smooth operations of the road to the polls.