Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lawmakers Seal Threshold Deal, But Redress Likely at Supreme Court

By  Moses Varfee Kowo

Source: FrontPage Africa

Senate Pro Temp Cletus Wotorson
Monrovia -

House Speaker Alex Tyler has called on the National Elections Commission to go ahead in making preparations for the holding of Legislative and Presidential elections later next year as members of both the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives moved on Thursday to adopt a joint resolution to pass the controversial Threshold Bill with no county losing a seat but an additional nine seats will be awarded to five counties(Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Bassa).

Despite heavy opposition from some members of both Houses of the National Legislature, twenty senators signed the resolution and twenty-two Representatives voted to adopt the resolution the Threshold resolution which may lead to another try of signature from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

But some members of the House of Representatives have threatened to go to court on the Threshold Subject claiming that Speaker and some members of the Legislature were attempting to provide seats for constituencies where there should be no seats at the expense of the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

Representatives Eugene Fallah Kparkar of Lofa County and Gabriel Smith of Grand Bassa County and Chairman of the House Elections Committee said they will move to the Supreme Court to seek redress on what they say is a deliberate attempt by their colleagues to circumvent the law.

But pro Threshold campaigners argued that the Threshold is purely the prerogative of the Legislature and therefore no specific branch of Government has the right to stop the Legislature from acting on the Threshold. They also argued that if those who are against the Threshold being discussed in the Legislature should have raised the argument ever since before the Senate prepares its resolution. But to allow the debate to switch against the opponent before bringing the argument was also in their minds not fair for the development of the country.

The Senate resolution is suggesting that members of the Legislature among other things: “that the 64 electoral districts set-up and used by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the conduct of 2005 presidential and Legislative elections shall remain constant. But for the purpose of the 2011 presidential and Legislative elections, each county shall retain the existing number of seats it has in the House of Representatives, except the counties of Bassa, Bong, Margibi, Montserrado and Nimba. Accordingly, nine (9) additional constituencies are hereby prescribed and established. The National Elections Commission shall reapportion such constituencies herein prescribed to the Counties specifically named in the resolution based on the fraction of a percentage contribution of the current seats each of the county herein named above to their total number of seats in the Legislature.”

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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