Open Liberia Suspects Creeping Dictatorship in Weah’s Gov’t

1
1376
Ms. Kellen presents her organization's frustration with the government.

A civil society organization (CSO) has expressed disappointment over President George Weah’s attempt to annul all tenured positions  in the executive branch of government.

Open Liberia, a local pro-democracy organization, on November 6 said in its press statement that failure on the part of  civil society organizations and the Legislature to, with immediate effect, condemn President Weah’s attempt to nullify tenured positions would constitute a threat to national democratic governance.

“Despite the sadness of the President’s decision, not one of the persons we have elected as lawmakers has publicly spoken about how the President’s proposal undermines good governance and transparency, particularly so in the absence of an empirical study to prove how ineffective these tenured positions are,” Open Liberia Program Officer, Esther Kellen, said.

According to Ms. Kellen, not countering President Weah’s attempt to cancel tenures for senior positions at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Liberia Maritime Authority (LAM), and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), will eventually lead to an imperial presidency as well as  disregard for the Constitution.

“Sometime last week, our nation woke up to the news of a sad decision by the President to alter the autonomy, independence and sanctity of certain positions in our governance system – contrary to international best practices,” she said.

Ms. Kellen added, “The President wants to change the way the LRA, LMA, CBL, and the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, Liberia Telecommunications Authority, and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission have been operating to suit his pleasure.”

“Inasmuch as it is true that Weah was elected by the majority to lead the country,” Ms. Kellen said, “his composure in the following months shows that he is headed for a dictatorial type of leadership under whose watch the country may suffer more setbacks than ever before.”

“Mr. Weah may have been elected through a democratic process, but his composure in recent times is a signal that a dictator is in the making; he’s doing so while people think he is not aware of what he is doing. But the President is very much aware of what he is doing – amassing power to a position that is already too powerful,” Ms. Kellen alleged.

She said although individuals in government are not taking keen note of what Weah wants to achieve, “sooner or later, they will get to know that Weah is a celebrated democratic dictator whose primary objective is to rule by perceptions rather than using the law.”

“When we went to the polls in 2005, 2011 and 2017, we did not have in our mind that the reason we’re voting Mr. Weah was for him to tamper with our governance and democracy. The President wants to amass power onto himself and take our governance from being a democracy to an autocracy –this is certainly not what we signed up for,” Ms. Kellen declared.

She said it is sad that Weah has so quickly forgotten that the Governance Decentralization Act was recently signed into law by him.

“How soon has our President forgotten that when he was candidate from 2005 to 2017, his mantra was ‘Power to the People, Yes We can?’ How come it has turned out to be ‘Power to Me, Mr. President?” she asked rhetorically.

She continued, “How can we believe and accept your mantra of power be to the people when, based on the way you have structured our governance, no one can tell the king that he is naked?”

She said her organization is puzzled by its discovery of Weah  playing the roles of judge, player and spectator at the same time. Kellen noted that Weah’s decision to terminate these tenured positions has the ability to undermine the functional independence of the institutions in question and challenged them to perform up to the expectations of the people who stood the test of times to vote for change.

“Open Liberia will assume, until proven otherwise, that the decision by the president is only meant to create a temporary distraction from other pressing national issues like the L$16 billion scandal and his mansions under construction as well as the ongoing proven malfeasance at the LPRC so as to buy time to gear up for his tasks, especially the productive ones,” she concluded.

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

Previous articleLiberia Institute of Architects 2018 Convention Opens
Next articleSam Mannah Transferred to Nat’l Insurance Company
David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

1 COMMENT

  1. Proponents of Tenured positions (PTP) and Opponents of Tenured Positions (OTP) are engaged in a heated debate.
    Let’s take a listen at what they’re saying about Weah’s decision to terminate tenured civil servant employees.

    PTP’s response: Weah is in violation of the law. The man shouldn’t mess with us like that”. We will fight this thing in the courts of Liberia.”

    OTP’s response: “Weah did not violate any tenured laws. He is doing what is right. You guys are publicity hounds. Going to the courts? We are ready.”

    PTP’s response: Publicity hounds? The country is not being governed properly. Everything EJS left in place is being destroyed by Weah. He wants CDC to rule the Republic with an iron hand. We the people will swim with the sharks if need be”.

    OTP’s response: “No iron hand business! Be careful as you swim with hungry sharks. This issue has nothing to do with CDC. Again, you guys are making outlandish statements without thinking about what’s in the best interest of the country. What is abundantly clear is that EJS was badly misused by the tenured civil servant employees. The tenured civil servant employees wanted to keep thier jobs forever without being bothered.”

    PTP’s response: “The very people who were tenured during the leadership years of EJS are qualified. They are performing beyond expectation. We want to move the country foward while Weah is holding us back. Weah seems to be a master manipulator.”

    OTP’s response: “First of all, do you have any proof as to whether the tenured civil servant employees have performed and are performing beyond expectation? What constitutes a major accomplishment on your part?” You want to move the country forward, right? What the hell do you think Weah is trying to do? Move our beloved country in the fourth world? Y’all joking”.

    PTP’s response “Hey, stop there for a second. Don’t use that “hell” word anymore. Because we’ve got some words to describe y’all. This debate is not over. Sixteen billion Liberian dollars! What is Weah doing about that? Weah wants us to forget about money and that’s why he is rushing into destroying tenured civil servant jobs.”

    OTP’s response: “Okay, we will moderate our responses. But we expect civility from you as well. The issue of 16 billion dollars should not be brought into the debate of tenured civil servant jobs. Please. Weah cannot and will not allow his hands to be tied. Weah has the right to replace any civil servant employee whether she or he is tenured or not. Also, you guys have not been able to explain to the world as to why some civil servant employees were tenured and not all of them. Example, why weren’t the cops, school teachers and janitors tenured? Explanation please”.

    PTP’s response: We feel that 16 billion Liberian dollars is an issue that needs to be settled. We do not hear much about it anymore as we did a few weeks ago. We strongly feel that this is an attempt to divert our attention from the 16 billion deal.
    OTP’s response: “We’ve won the debate. Y’all didnin move a stone.

    PTS’s response: ” Oh no. Y’all didnin win anything. When y’all ready anytime, we ready.

Leave a Reply