Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Liberia: NDC Vice Standard Bearer Predicts Referendum Failure

Eugene K. Myers
Source: Heritage (Monrovia)

The Vice Standard Bearer of the opposition National Democratic Coalition (NDC), Representative Dusty Wolokolie, says he is of the conviction that the National Referendum, which took place on August 23, 2011 across the country, will be a failure. He made these comments Monday following the latest release of Progressive Results by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Monrovia. As of 29 August 2011, the NEC reported that 4,418 of the 4,457 polling places reported, Preposition 1 Amendment to Article 52(c) recorded 288,058 "Yes" Votes, 243,567 "No" Votes, 76,065 Invalid Votes and 607,690 Total Votes.
Regarding Proposition 2 Amendment to Article 72(b), the NEC further reported 218,179 "Yes" Votes, 317,957 "No" Votes, 71,554 Invalid Votes and 607,690 Total Votes, while Proposition 3 Amendment to Article 83(a) the Commission recorded 303,250 "Yes" Votes, 231,738 "No" Votes, 72,702 Invalid Votes and 607,690 Total Votes.

For Proposition 4 Amendment to Article 83(a), the Commission reported 359,545 "Yes" Votes, 172,608 for "No" Votes, 75,537 Invalid Votes and 607,690 Total Votes.

But Rep. Wolokolie contended that the margin is not wide enough to obtain the two-third needed to pass the amendments of any of the four propositions of the 1985 constitution of Liberia.
He said the results of the referendum will send a shockwave to the ruling Unity Party (UP) that it no longer enjoys popular support from the masses.

According to him, the apparent failure of the National Referendum is due to calls from the opposition political parties to reject the entire constitutional amendments by either voting "No" to all propositions or boycott the entire process.

The former UP official said the failure of the National Referendum will demonstrate the strength of the opposition political parties in the country that are thought of as weak or powerless.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, Dr. Marcus Dahn, has rejected comments by the NDC vice standard bearer that the UP does not enjoys popular support from the masses.

He said opposition parties are mistaken the National Referendum results with the Presidential and legislative elections.

Among other things, he added that the UP still remains the most popular party in the country and that the outcome of the referendum cannot be used for the presidential and legislative elections.

On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, eligible voters across the country voted in the much-publicized national referendum to amend provisions of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.

The referendum stems from a joint resolution approved by the Legislature on September 10, 2010. The referendum seeks to amend articles 52(c), 72 (b), and article 83 (a) and (b) of the constitution.
Eligible voters are to vote "Yes" or "No" for each of the prepositions during the referendum. Preposition one, (article 52 c) proposed a reduction to the controversial residency clause for the President and Vice President from 10 years to 5 consecutive years.

Preposition two, 72 (b) proposes an increment in the retirement age of the Chief Justice and associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia and judges of subordinate court of records from 70 years to 75 years. Preposition three, article 83 (a) proposes a change in the electoral date from the second Tuesday in October of every election year to the second Tuesday in November of every voting year. Preposition four, article 83 (b) proposes that all election for public office shall be determined by simple majority except for the president and vice president.

Tuesday's referendum was crucial because it was the second ever referendum to be held in Liberia since its existence in 1847.

The first ever referendum to be conducted in Liberia was in 1945, (98 years) after independence.
The referendum was conducted in a peaceful manner with no violence reported.

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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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