Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eyeing Opportunity: Lawmaker Wants Diaspora Liberians Vote In 2011 elections

Moses Varfee Kowo

Source: FrontPage Africa

Monrovia –

Lofa County Lawmaker, Eugene Fallah Kparkar, has submitted a draft Legislation seeking legal permission for Liberians legally living in other countries to vote in elections in their country.

Kparkar told journalists after the Act was sent to the Committees on Elections, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary that he hope his colleagues will see the proposal in a positive way and to continue the disenfranchisement of Liberians who are living in other countries legally.

Fallah Kparkar says all Liberians legally living in different countries should have the opportunity to vote in their embassies accredited near that country’s capital and that the National Elections Commission shall conduct voter registration for these Liberians at their embassies .

Drafters of the Act quotes article 5.1 of the New Electoral Reform Law of 2004 as their reliance which states: “ Except one who has been judicially declared to be incompetent or of unsound mind, or who has been barred from voting as a result of his/her conviction or imprisonment for an infamous crime which disenfranchises him as a voter and has not been restored to full citizenship, a Liberian citizen who has attained the age of 18 or above and a valid registration card may vote at any election in the voting precinct of the electoral district for which he/she is registered.”

Fallah Kparkar said all Liberians legally living in different countries should have the opportunity to vote in their embassies accredited near that country’s capital and that the National Elections Commission shall conduct voter registration for these Liberians at their embassies .

His remarks were clearly spelt out in section 5.2 of his proposed Act: “where to vote: a Liberian citizen who has attained the age of 18 years or above with a valid registration card shall vote only in the voting precinct in the electoral district for which he/she is registered”

“(B) A Liberian citizen in the Diaspora who has attained the age of 18 years or above with a valid registration card shall vote only in the Liberian Embassy of the country in which the voter resides and have gone through the registration process conducted by NEC in the same embassy.”

But some lawmakers are concern that Liberia might be lacking the technical capacity to conduct elections outside its borders at this time; but others also count on a recent successful process in Liberia in which Guineans residing in Liberia voted in their national elections.

The new recommendation is expected to raise new debate in the Legislature as some Liberians might struggle to define ‘what is the legal definition of people that are living in other parts of the world’.

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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