May Day 1 every year is May Day, International Workers Day, a special day set aside to honor the working people of the world. So, on this May Day, I greet all of the working people of Liberia and say to them, in Kpelle, Nnangala kpor ga (God bless you).
May Day must remind all of the people of Liberia, especially the government of Liberia, that were it not for the work of the working people of Liberia, our dear country, Liberia, would not be existing today. Going into the 169th year of the birth of Liberia, we all must remember that without the work of the working people of Liberia on the farms, on the plantations, in the marketplaces, at construction sites and their repairing of what has been built, there would be no place called Liberia today.
Yet, it took five years to pass the Decent Work Bill into law at the National Legislature of Liberia, where Representatives and Senators who are elected to represent the people of Liberia sit to do work. It was after great mass pressure was placed upon these Legislators that they finally passed the Decent Work Bill into law in May 2015. My 2015 May Day message called upon the Legislators to stop sitting down and doing work in their own interests while eating the people’s money and not doing work in the people’s interest. The Legislators must remember that they are required by the laws of Liberia to do the work of the people of Liberia and not do their own personal work at the National Legislature. Now that the Decent Work Bill is law, I call upon all Liberians to work together to make sure that the Decent Work Law be carried out. We must end now the bad habit of not carrying out what the laws of Liberia command us, especially the government of Liberia, to do.
In the drive to carry out the Decent Work Law, the Liberia Labor Congress (LLC), the umbrella labor organization of Liberia, must exercise good leadership by leading the just struggle for the sustained improvement in the conditions of the working people of Liberia. The upcoming 2017 General and Presidential Elections provide a great opportunity for the workers of Liberia to elect a national leadership for the governance of Liberia that has a good record of working in the interest of the working people of Liberia. If the working people of Liberia, especially the young unemployed workers, continue to make the mistake of electing persons who pass them by while they are suffering but come to them only when they want their votes, then the suffering of the working people will not only continue but will get worse. The Legislators already elected by the working people to represent the interest of the workers but who are representing their own personal interests must not be reelected in the 2017 Elections. In fact, the working people did very well by not reelecting most of the Representatives in the 52nd Legislature and nearly all the Senators in the 2014 by-elections.
In trying to elect good persons to the leadership of Liberia, the working people of Liberia continue to face a big problem and the problem is the illegal actions of the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia that make it impossible for NEC to conduct free and fair elections. What are these illegal actions of NEC? They are asfollows:
NEC has two Commissioners, including the NEC Chairman, who are foreigners; NEC allows foreigners to run as candidates in elections; NEC allows foreigners to vote in elections; NEC places the wrong names of candidates on ballot papers deliberately to influence voters to vote in predetermined ways; and
NEC has already publicly declared its favorite political party in advance of the 2017 Elections.
For my part, I continue to call upon the President of Liberia to dismiss all of the NEC Commissioners and replace them with names given to her from a short list by the Civil Society. I continue to call upon the international community to suspend immediately its financial and material support to NEC until the illegal actions of NEC are ended. Most unfortunately, political parties, in consultations with NEC on the 2017 Elections that produced a Memorandum of Understanding, not a single word about the illegal actions of NEC is discussed. This means that the political parties, generally, are no different in substance from the ruling Unity Party because they want the same longstanding and existing anti-people and anti-democratic system to continue, finding Liberia as the second poorest country in Africa and the fifth poorest country in the world. Such continuation would mean violence and chaos for Liberia and this what my May Day Message is intended to prevent by raising mass awareness and calling upon all workers to work together for the holding of free and fair elections in Liberia.
Nnangala kpor ga.