Sunday, September 25, 2011

Liberia: Supreme Court Decides On "Residency Clause" On Tuesday

Source: African Elections Project

The Supreme Court of Liberia would on Tuesday, exactly two weeks before the election, to take a decision on whether President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and some five other leading candidates are qualified to take part in the October 11 election.

The Movement for Progressive Change political party launched the legal challenge to the candidates' eligibility after the referendum failed.

The main issue before the Court is a constitutional that requires that all presidential candidates be residents of Liberia for 10 years prior to the poll -- a requirement that if enforced would eliminate many of Liberia's leading politicians.

It may prove reasonably easy for the court to find a loophole, given the loose wording of the residency clause -- but it will come at political cost. The clause states the candidates are ineligible unless they have been "resident in the Republic 10 years prior to his election, provided that the president and the vice-president shall not come from the same county".

It looks tricky because, a decision to bar the six candidates could delay the elections for months and raise the risk of street unrest. Waiving it also could undermine the legitimacy of the next president.
President Johnson-Sirleaf became Africa's first elected female head of state in 2005 -- when the country waived the residency requirements for the U.N.-sponsored elections to allow more candidates to run in the wake of the war.

She like many of her contemporaries had left the country for years during the fighting, returning only in 2003 after it stopped. President Johnson-Sirleaf has enjoyed broad international support for her efforts at rebuilding Liberia since, and she is considered a favourite in the polls which would pit her against rivals Winston Tubman and former rebel leader Prince Johnson.

What has made some people angry with President Johnson-Sirleaf, is the fact that she has gone back on a 2005 campaign promise not to run for a second mandate. She put the issue to a vote in an August referendum, seeking to shrink the residency requirement to five years from 10 and also to delay the October poll until November, after the rainy season. These proposals were turned down.

Some analysts have however said, the electorate are not likely to mind hugely about the legal and technical issues should a waiver were granted. But the whole controversy could be used as a political tool by opposition parties after the election to undermine the legitimacy of the newly elected president.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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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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