President Weah Again Violating Tenured Positions?

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According to Amb. Brown (left), the appointment of Mrs. Davidetta Browne Lansanah (right) as NEC Chair, while still serving as Co-Chair of the autonomous electoral body, will disturb her tenure, and possibly cause her removal, outside the contemplation of the law.

Ambassador Lewis Brown warns Senate that confirming ‘NEC nominees’ would set dangerous precedence’

Barely a year into his 6-year tenure at the helm of national leadership, President George Manneh Weah had already registered his frustration with the technicalities of law defined what he could and could not do, even as the most powerful person in the country. One of his early and most notable frustrations was with the issue of tenured positions. This was at a time when, in a bid to find lucrative positions for his partisans, the President sought to oust those who he met in those tenured positions when he came to power.

Notable among the tenured positions the President found himself embarrassed by included those of the Executive Director of the Liberia Extractives Transparency Initiative (LEITI), the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and the country’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization. The LEITI official was removed at gun point and the CBL Executive Governor was harassed into resignation. The IMO Permanent Representative, however, being a lawyer, had a Supreme Court injunction placed on the President’s order, effectively protecting his position, although the President has found ways to frustrate the official’s tenure.

Now, two years later, President Weah appears to have found a clever way to circumvent a very crucial government functionary protected by tenure positions — the National Elections Commission (NEC). As observed by Liberia’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, Lewis G. Brown, the President’s latest nominations to the NEC would set a dangerous precedence that will undermine the independence and autonomy of the electoral body.

According to Amb. Brown, the appointment of Mrs. Davidetta Browne Lansanah as Chair, while still serving as Co-Chair of the autonomous electoral body, will disturb her tenure, and possibly cause her removal, outside the contemplation of the law.

“Without prejudice to the qualifications of Mrs. Davidetta Browne Lansanah, and Mrs. Teplah Reeves, their recent nominations as Chair and Co-Chair of the National Elections Commission will establish dangerous precedence that reasonably extends to undermining the independence and autonomy of the NEC, and to violate the spirit and intent of the law.

“Obviously, the law could not have intended that Mrs. Lansanah be commissioned Co-Chair for seven years, and have the same position of Co-Chair, without the expiry of her tenure, resignation, or removal upon proved misconduct, opened for nomination by the President, and be exposed to Senate confirmation, processes whose constructive intent is to cause a removal, and replacement.

“It also risks the security of tenure and trivializes the important confirmation power of the Honorable Liberian Senate,” Amb. Brown argued.

Amb. Brown further argued that if Mrs. Lansanah is confirmed and subsequently commissioned as NEC Chair; then it is difficult to say whether or not the seven-year tenure of Chair of the NEC can apply to her after she has already served the Commission for a few months into her seven-year tenure as Co-Chair.

Arguing further, Amb. Brown said such situation harms the spirit and intent of the law and that such ‘promotions’ disrupt tenure as it signals to commissioners that their services can be politically rewarded with ‘promotions’, even as they are in-tenure.

“The harm to the spirit and intent of the law, therefore, is that such ‘promotions’ present the political branches, from whose reach, influence and interference the law intended to protect the NEC and its officials, with the possibility to interfere in the NEC, disrupt tenure, and cause the removal of a commissioned member of the NEC,” he said.

Amb Brown added that even if it is speculative, it is not outside the boundary of reason and, importantly, falls within the sphere of political interferences and influences from which the law intended to shield Commissioners and the Commission.

“Beguiling this precedent, were it to be established, is also the harmful interference to Commissioners impressing that their services can be politically rewarded with ‘promotions’, even as they are in-tenure,” Amb. Brown said. “Suffice to say, where a scintilla of possibility for presidential consideration for rewards/promotions for tenured Commissioners and officers of the NEC is permitted to exist, so too will be the human need to ‘act favorably’ to receive and benefit therefrom, if not immediately, then at some time in the future. “

Amb. Brown also said although the president has the power to fill a vacancy at NEC, doing so by creating a new one which he can fill simultaneously is political interference –“plain and simple!”

“As it is with other public officials in the Executive Branch, the Chair, Co-Chair, and other members of the Elections Commission, once nominated, confirmed, appointed and commissioned, no longer fall within the ambit of the constitutional regulatory pleasure power of the President.

“This is so because Article 89 of the Constitution establishes the Elections Commission as one of three Autonomous Public Commissions. Although the Constitution establishes the Elections Commission, it specifically does not include its members to the list of public officials to be appointed by the President under Article 54, nor subjects them to being removed at the pleasure of the President, in accordance with Article 56,” he said.

Amb. Brown, who once worked as a former minister of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism said when an individual, who has been nominated to a tenured position and secures the senate confirmation, returns for another confirmation; it becomes difficult not to view the confirmation process as trivial.

“Importantly also, even if unintended, such revolving-door confirmations involving tenure officials come to be the tools to undermine the values and essence of tenured positions which the Legislature itself saw fit to create. No power given by the Constitution is intended to be trivialized without consequences to the democratic health and wellbeing of any nation. If precedence exists for these nominations, and legislative actions, they are wrong.

“If Mrs. Lansanah is denied and Mrs. Reeves is confirmed; how is the country, and its democratic aspirations, not ushered into a precarious place where a commissioned Co-Chair, short of the expiry of her seven-year tenure, to confront the real possibility of being removed by ‘promotion’, and replaced by another,” Amb. Brown argued.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Lewis Brown, all of your arguments are silly, and lack commonsense, and the principles of law!

    For Firstly, WHICH PROVISION of Liberiaś statutory law, judge-made law, or constitutional law, that prohibits the nomination of anyone or any NECŚ commissioner as NEC Chair who has been recently nominated and confirmed as NECŚ Co Chair???????????????????

    Secondly, if your tacit or implicit view had any residence in jurisprudence, which is that: “in the case of an NECŚ Chair who, immediately prior to her nomination as NECŚ Chair, was nominated and confirmed and served as Co. Chair, is a violation of the law”, as you believe in your hypocrisy and idiocy, THEN there would be no need for a Senateś confirmation, since according to your implicit and or tacit opinion, there is no separation, difference nor distinction, between the portfolio of an NECŚ Co. Chair and an NECŚ Chair.

    Thirdly, if your opinion could pass ANY scrutiny of rudimentary intelligence, then a VP who (in case of some exigency) ends the remaining term of a hitherto president would not serve his or her full six years tenure, when/if he or she becomes President-Elect, since according to that gbogboloma on your shoulders, the remaining term or years of the hitherto president the given VP served, should be deducted from his or her six years term as President-Elect.

    Lewis, the time you took to badmouth everything of the past administration (when you were jobless), but then became a praise-singer a PROLIFIC LIAR of those very conducts on the part of the past government you once badmouthed when you were jobless, you should have taken the opportunity to do one or two courses in law. And then you will not come here to make a big fool out of yourself by ranting such boredom.

  2. Brown is desperate for a job. His tactics is simple. Criticize Weah and Weah will silence him by giving him a job. He did it to Taylor. Taylor gave him a job and the next thing we know he stopped being a critic of Taylor and built himself a big mansion on the Robertsfield Highway.

    Brown was also a critic of Ellen after Taylor left power. The next thing we know Ellen made him Ambassador to the U.N. and he started heaping all the praises you can imagine on Ellen.

    Lewis Brown was the first Liberian U.N. Ambassador to vote against the United States our long time ally. He thinks his old tricks can work against Weah. Let him continue to criticize, but from what I see, I don’t think Weah will pay heed to this opportunist who only criticizes Liberian Heads of State when he is out of job. He is nothing more but a pretender and hypocrite. President Weah should ignore him as he is completely irrelevant. He almost destroyed Liberia’s relations with the United States.

    • I think you would make a compelling argument where you to argue on the merits of Mr. Brown’s assertions instead of attacking him personally. What does the law say and is there any precedent for what President Weah is doing. Debate the issues based on the law and the constitution, not whether he worked at the U.N. and what type of beer he drinks, etc. Those things have no correlation to the issue at hand. Notwithstanding, a leader must be mindful because people look to him for leadership and guidance, but when he breaks the law, it sets a very bad example for society because they’ll say, “the president did this, so I can do it too.” As President, if he doesn’t like the law, work with the Legislature to change it, but he can’t do whatever he wants because we have a system of checks and balance. I think the country would be better off if we strive for a better country govern by democratic norms rather than defending a certain President because you happen to be his supporter. George Weah will be gone and Liberia will sill be here. So, our thinking and actions should always be in the best interest of our country.

      • “Notwithstanding, a leader must be mindful because people look to him for leadership and guidance, but when he breaks the law, it sets a very bad example for society because they’ll say, “the president did this, so I can do it too.” James

        But WHEN THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT BREAK THE LAW (as is indisputably the case here), and ANYONE (eg. Lewis Brown etc.) or ESPECIALLY some disgusting stooge, and unprincipled opportunist- Lewis Brown;

        (1) out of joblessness, idiocy, hypocrisy, and ignorance of certain sense of practicality or rudimentary intelligence viz the applicability of the law, or the total lack of the epistemological and understanding of presidential powers basic to a situation or position, although not backed by an expressed grant of authority within the constitution (INHERENT POWERS), the;

        (2) response required is a no-nonsense intellectual reprisal against such hypocriteś personality, as done here by us and others! And,

        (3) the same ( a vehement intellectual reprisal) should and must

        (4) be the case with ANYONE or ESPECIALLY some disgusting stooge, and unprincipled opportunist, who, out of joblessness, idiocy, hypocrisy, and with the motive and bent intent to mislead and deceive,

        (5) displays his ignorance regarding the fundamentals of those powers necessary for the President to carry out his or her presidential powers (IMPLIED POWERS) EXPRESSLY granted by the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, or any constitutional democracy!

        • Your argument is baseless because you are only interested in attacking the person (ad hominem as someone said) not the argument he makes. Also, did not the Supreme Court rule against President Weah for exceeding his authority when he fired Isaac Jackson, and the director of the Lottery agency? The statute on tenured position is clear as daylight but Weah falsely believes as president he can break the law, and nothing will come of it. That is his attitude. Does that make him a good president? It does not. He behaves like an African dictator. There is no president in West Africa who does the things Weah does, like illegal accumulation of wealth while his citizens can barely afford food for their family. I suppose you blame Lewis Brown or EJS for his savage ways? Weah is a huge disappointment and embarrassment for the millions of young people that voted for him. I imagine his peers in the region do not have a good perception for him at all because he is a corrupt idiot.

      • Were you actually expecting any educational information or arguments from Mr. True or False Nationalist ? Never. It is the same old praise and worship of the personality of George by employee True or False Nationalist of the propaganda Ministry of Information . VP Taylor said it best: It’s Their Time To Eat.

        • James Davis, as for you, with your problem with comprehension, it is not surprising that you would believe that we would be an employee of the Ministry of Information, simply because we eulogized Rep, Jay Nagbe Sloh and Rep, Munah Pelham-Youngblood.

          The very fact that we would eulogize a harsh opponent of this administration (Rep. Jay Nagbe Sloh), should have been enough to inform you that we do not work with the Ministry of Information, nor anything ligated to propaganda for the Liberian Government.

          So, according to you: Gballay Gotombo is a governmentś propagandist at the Liberian Ministry of Information; for he has also responded harshly to that chronic opportunist Lewis Brown?

          My friend, get this at the back and front of your head: Our days, at the Liberian Ministry of Information, ante-dates the end of mid-eighties!!! We do not even live in Liberia! Not are we having any link to any of its foreign missions. We are simply THE TRUE NATIONALIST OF THE HIGHEST PATRIOTIC ORDER!

          • Ha ha ha ha ha . James Davis is THEE MAN. Got it out of him to say something about his previous governmental post. So you all see that once a lying propagandist, will always be a lying propagandist no matters where he lives. True or False Nationalist actually never left his old trade of lying and twisting the truth. James Davis just tricked this True or False Nationalist into admitting his propaganda role. Wow ! James Davis is so damned smart to get this guy to admit his role. Either it is the True or False Nationalist time to eat or other family members time to eat. James Davis Got YOU !

      • James/Rhyne, if you are intelligent in the law, counter my arguments fired supra. It is the delusion of Brown and his likes that lay people like you will not see through his brownś idiocy, hypocrisy, ignorance. Hence he rants such rubbish. But we are here to swiftly have them debunked!!

        AGAIN,this Lewis Brownś rubbish has no merits nor demerits. What Lewis has written here is absolute senselessness. And this is very disgraceful and pathetic on the part of Brown.

      • Yeah!!!! James you are indeed right bro!!!! George manneh Wleah regime will expired!!! but our Country’s Liberia will still be here for the future generation!!! So what is foundation that we are building as a County for the future generation? Should we break the law of the land or disregard the entire constitution because of a George Manneh Wleah presidency?

  3. James

    James, I am unable to say anything further as you have said it all. Certainly, this is a classic case of what is often referred to among intellectual circles as the ad hominem attack.

    An ad hominem attack occurs when a speaker makes a point and instead of the responder focus on the truth or falsehood of the speaker’s statement, he begins to personally attack the speaker’s character.

    Ad hominem attacks are so prevalent in Liberian web fora and for several reasons. To begin with some folks may be either consciously or unconsciously bias; moreover, some maybe ignorant of the subject matter and do not care to research the proper information before reacting or responding to the issue, and yet still, some maybe harboring so much animus against others based on their tribal association to the extent that they have been blinded to the true realities the nation faces.

    A good example of the ad hominem attack is the one unjustifiably hurled at Mr. Alexander Cummings quite recently. Some nefarious idiots on the internet are maligning the good character of this gentleman referring to him as a queer simply because he does not align himself with the Weah’s ideology.

    Nonetheless, the truth or falsehood of one’s assertions has nothing to do with his personal character. Let us leave people’s personal characters, names, and tribes alone and focus on the humongous task before us as the challenge of nation-building is bigger than all the pettiness that we are hearing and seeing.

    A speaker once said, “Insults are the results of verbal laziness.” In other words, only people who are ideas deficient and lack the skill of elocution often go down the path of dragging sluice and insulting decent people simply because they are unable to constructively proffer counter-arguments.

    • James, when judges hand down their verdict against the guilty culprit, they judges do not forget to describe the psyche or personality of such guilty culprits. The judges call such guilty culprits names!

      Within an intellectual expanse, we (True Nationalist, etc) are judges!!! Hence, when we are adjudicating or handing down our verdicts or firing our opinion, we shall never relent to describe the indecent conduct, and disgusting personality of the guilty or liable culprits.

      Instead of masking your ignorance behind such useless and lackadaisical rants, you should advance counter arguments to our arguments and not come here to rant nonsense!

      • I’m not sure when last you had a physical, but you need to get one soon because you’re losing your mind. And you know you guys in Liberia don’t live past 60!

  4. Lewis Browne,
    Go and find a place to hide.
    The Government of Liberia is not your pa farm. Find something else to do and let people hear in their ears.

  5. All appointed and elected leaders are expected to act right and lead right with a moral compass. As an elected leader of the country of Liberia, Weah is expected to lead with the utmost moral values. Weah may not be doing as everyone had expected, but he’s trying. He deserves a break.

    Tenured positions are very tricky. For instance, some tenured bureaucrats/employees do not perform their duties well because they feel that they’re tenured. The tenured employees may not say it openly, but deep in their secret hearts, they harbor that belief. That’s the trickiest and most interesting part about being tenured. Being tenured doesn’t mean “a tenured employee” cannot be replaced or terminated. In this particular case, a decision had to be made. To some, Weah’s decision is unpopular, and to some, the right decision was made.

    • Hney – Weah is an idiot because the Supreme Court said that he exceeded his authority when he dismissed Isaac Jackson, head of the IMO, and the former director of the Lottery Agency. Basically the court had set a precedent in its ruling that Weah could not fire tenured officials without cause. Why is he doing that again? Apparently he doesn’t care about the rule of law. Democracy have checks and balance and he must respect the law. There is nothing tricky about the statute that created these tenured positions.

      • James, you know nothing about INHERENT AND IMPLIED POWERS; HENCE, ITS NOT SURPRISING YOU RANT SUCH RUBBISH. You are one of the many LIARS, pretenders, and idiots, boring others with your idiocy and chronic ignorance on this site. When did the Supreme Court say Pres, Weah has exceeded his authority when he dismissed Isaac Jackson”?

        This is an intellectual forum where harsh criticism, “paper doubts”- doubts considered merely as an intellectual exercise – and so sidesteps the whole issue of epistemological scepticism, are understandable; but not LIES!

        Here infra is Isaacś own statement quite recently (July 6, 2020 LiberianObserver) proving you are an idiot, pretender, ignoramus,and a LIAR that the Supreme Court has not handed down its judgment:

        “If the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia ruled against us tomorrow, my family and I would be disappointed, as we believe the law to be squarely on our side. But we would feel relieved to return home knowing that as citizens and life-long advocates for change in our country, we offered ourselves, not in comfortable surrender to what we knew to be wrong, but stood up for justice and good governance, the change for which many have died in our country”, Jackson concluded.”

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