Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LEAD Organizing For Liberia

Liberia National Non-Partisan Voters Education and Awareness Campaign

The LEAD Organizing For Liberia wants to thank you for your leadership in combating deceptive voting practices across Liberia. In the aftermath of the 2005 General Elections and the 2009 by-election debacle, we are launching the LEAD Organizing For Liberia “Voters Education and Awareness Campaign,” a nonpartisan voter education and empowerment effort that will provide comprehensive field election awareness programs across Liberia. In addition, we are calling upon the Liberian Election Commission to introduce the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act to the Liberian Legislature with the aim of ensuring that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

Our election experience in the last several cycles has confirmed an unfortunate reality; deceptive practices - false information designed to mislead voters about the time, place, and manner of elections has become some of the many problems that the Liberian Election Commission faces today. Historically, voters who are deliberately provided misinformation about when, where or how to vote or about voter registration requirements do not have adequate legal recourse and may develop cynicism about the process. It is the Liberian Election Commission responsibility to adapt accordingly thereby combating these practices and minimizing the effect of partisan tricks in the elections process. We have the opportunity to use field operations and news media to combat those deceptive tactics thereby making sure correct information is clearly identified, consistent and widely accessible to voters across Liberia. Also, when these activities happen, voters should also be informed of correct information through sources they trust.

We are digging our way out of a hole dug by several years of insufficient attention to voting rights enforcement in different administration. Over the last decade, thousands of Liberians have been disenfranchised by a shortage of resources, administrative snafus, the misinterpretation of voting laws and political operatives who tried to game the system. That's thousands of votes not cast, thousands of Liberians denied a voice. Lawmakers from all political parties must improve the process before the same unnecessary outcome affects voters in the next election cycle. Action should be taken early to address the problems voters faced in 2005 General Elections and the November 10, 2009…Senatorial By-Election debacle and provide the needed resources and relieve to Liberia dedicated election officials.

The tasks ahead are great but the benefits are even greater. Our mission is to work with Liberia Election Officials; conduct strategic legal voter education field programs and provide live, real-time national VOTER hotline assistance on voting rules, regulations, locations, etc. The LEAD Organizing For Liberia wants to provide eligible voters with the tools they need to cast a ballot that counts in Liberia 2011 General Elections through our “Voters Education and Awareness Campaign” a nonpartisan voter education and empowerment effort with the goal of establishing a national VOTER hotline and comprehensive field election awareness programs that work in conjunction with the Liberian Election Commission.

Today, voters across Liberia still have to navigate through deliberate attempts by political operatives to confuse, deceive, and intimidate them as they try to vote. LEAD Organizing For Liberia is asking the Liberian Election Commission to introduce the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act to the Liberian Legislature, with the aim of prosecuting whoever, within 60 days before an election, knowingly communicates election-related information about Liberia election, knowing that information to be false, with the intent to prevent another person from exercising the right to vote in that election, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 6 years, or both.

Examples of Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation (the time, place, or manner of conducting the election; the qualifications for or restrictions on voter eligibility for the election, including--any criminal penalties associated with voting in the election or information regarding a voter’s registration status or eligibility. Consequently, this will not only prevent these practices under Liberian law, but will provide the necessary administrative remedies to ensure quick dissemination of correct information to the public. To be continued…..

Thank you and May God bless the Republic of Liberia.


LEAD Organizing For Liberia
Abraham Hoff, Chief Community Organizer

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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