Source: The Liberian Journal
Mr. Abraham G. Massaley
|Abraham G. Massaley|
Mr. Massaley said there is no check and balance in the government headed by President Sirleaf, and accountability is the weakest point of the Sirleaf administration. He said nearly all legislations passed so far by this legislature have come from the Executive, and none has been rejected or significantly altered despite the fact that many needed to. He said all actions of President Sirleaf have gone unchecked by the legislature even including appointments of individuals in elective positions. He said if the United States Embassy had not intervened, the Maritime Bill which is the worst so far from President Sirleaf would have passed exactly as written effectively surrendering the nation’s maritime funds to the President’s loyalists. He said this legislature is the worst in recent memories, saying it appears that the members are self-serving and the national interest is on the back burner. But he warned that weaker democratic institutions such as the legislature and the courts do not guarantee political stability in Liberia.
In the message marking the 46th anniversary of the PUL, the former PUL President warned that if the current political trend continues, and as the United Nations reduces its large presence in Liberia, there is a real fear of a second phase in this campaign, which is human right abuses and muzzling of press freedom, to further consolidate President Sirleaf’s grip on state power as it was the case in the past. He said President Sirleaf is already using “soft weapon” to destroy multi party democracy and political competition in Liberia, pointing out that President Sirleaf has succeeded in silencing some of her loudest opponents with offer of government jobs in a country where unemployment is nearly 90%.
The former PUL President said “our government is still designed to work as it was designed over half a century ago where the President is King, sycophancy is the governing ideology, corruption is the modus operandi, and loyalty to the President is the substitute for nationalism.” He said “administrations after administrations, Liberia continues in the same cycle where the majority live in abject poverty while many who hold top government positions get richer, live in bigger houses, and drive around in luxury cars”. He said “our system of government, with an imperial presidency, weak legislature and weak judiciary does not work, and will not work”, noting that under this system, “there will always be one Liberia for corrupt politicians, their families and friends, and another Liberia that brings miseries and untold human sufferings to the rest of the population.” He said the 1980 bloody military takeover and 14 years of civil war have taught us (Liberians) nothing.
Mr. Massaley said the current leaderships of the senate and house are at the bottom of the performance scale, have no spine and are afraid to see themselves opposing President Sirleaf on national issues even though in many instances such opposition has been necessary to ensure check and balance, and for the good of the nation. He said recent Daily Observer publication of reports that some members of the Legislature, were being allegedly “tantalized with brown envelops or material gifts, including cars to indirectly or directly influence their decisions on matters of national concern”, needed immediate investigation but said the senate and house leaderships failed to take action. He said even the confirmation process has become a “legislative mockery” with the senate in the ugly business of rejecting before confirming nominees. He said the only real power the senate has shown is to cite its critics for contempt.
Mr. Massaley said the continued silence by the Supreme Court in the recent petition for Writ of Prohibition filed against the Threshold Resolution is an indication that the constitution and the rule of law are once again under assault in Liberia. He said the threshold lawsuit was a “test case” to see whether the Supreme Court can be trusted and taking seriously when it comes to “hot button” political issues where President Sirleaf has vested political interest.
He said so far the Johnny Lewis bench has not distinguished itself from the Supreme Court of the one-party-True Whip Party (TWP) era when it comes to the power of the people verses power of the president as it is becoming evident that President Sirleaf will have her way whether constitutional or not. The former PUL President said in practice, Liberia has virtually become once again a one-party state even though the ruling party is in the minority. He warned that this “bad may become worst after the 2011 general elections if President Sirleaf’s Unity Party becomes the majority party in the Legislature”.