Saturday, November 12, 2011

Liberia's Tubman wants disputed presidential poll annulled

Winston Tubman
Winston Tubman, who pulled out of the second round of Liberia's presidential election claiming fraud, called Saturday for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's victory to be annulled and fresh elections held.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The comments come just a day after Tubman had said he was willing to work with Sirleaf, despite his boycott which won him little sympathy abroad as international observers gave the first round a clean bill of health.

Tubman's boycott raised tensions in the west African nation, whose second-post war poll had been billed as a chance to cement its fragile democracy eight years after a 14-year conflict that killed 250,000 ended.

Political tensions turned bloody on the eve of Tuesday's election when police fired live bullets into a crowd of opposition protesters gathered for an unauthorised march amid a hail of stone-throwing and tear gas.

Tubman said Tuesday's vote was "a political farce of the highest order and must not be allowed to stand."
"As we speak our lawyers are busy working on all our legal options," he told reporters, reading from a prepared statement after consultation with the Congress for Democratic Change.

"We believe everything that flows from Tuesday's elections must be annulled and a new round of elections scheduled in a month. We will not recognise the so-called win of Mrs Sirleaf," he added.

On Friday, Tubman had said that while his party would not recognise the results he was "prepared to heal the wounds of this country and to unite our country.

"Since Mrs Sirleaf will now claim she is the president and is recognised by the international community, we have to find a way to work with her and I believe it is not beyond our ability to find a way for that to happen," he had said.

On Saturday however, in an apparent about-turn, he slammed Sirleaf's Unity Party as "election hijackers".
And he repeated his assertion that Monday's shooting at CDC headquarters had been an attempt by Sirleaf's forces to assassinate him. AFP journalists saw two bodies with gunshot wounds to the head.
No official toll has been released, and while Tubman said earlier up to eight may have been killed, he now says three are confirmed dead with many reports of CDC supporters missing.

The 70-year old former UN diplomat pulled out of the race claiming "massive fraud in the tabulation process" in the first round. He brushed aside international observer's assertions the poll was free and fair.
"Elections are won by votes and not strengths of political endorsement from observers," he said.

The National Electoral Commission on Friday confirmed Nobel Peace Prize winner Sirleaf the landslide winner in polls with 90 percent of votes to Tubman's 9.4 percent.

However Tubman pointed to the low turnout of 38 percent -- attributed to the boycott and fears of further violence -- as proof Sirleaf did not have wide support and that she had doctored the vote.

"They have now announced some highly inflated figures giving president Sirleaf a victory, or as she calls it, a renewed mandate ... What mandate can this flawed process give her? What mandate did she ever have in the first place?"

Tubman referred to 2005 elections when his running mate, former AC Milan football star George Weah took on Sirleaf in the first polls after the end of a brutal 14-year war in 2003.

In a first round of voting Sirleaf lost to Weah but came back to narrowly beat him in the second. Weah, who at the time had not finished high school, was criticised for his lack of education and administrative experience.

The CDC cried foul, despite observers saying the process was free and fair. Weah later withdrew his claims and accepted the results, but the party still feels it was cheated.

This time round the party thought that with the dream team of Harvard-trained Tubman and the crowd-pleasing Weah as his running mate they were sure to win.

Sirleaf on Friday called for national reconciliation and announced an independent commission would probe Monday's shooting which Tubman rejected as full of "partisans and friends of the president."

Sirleaf also named fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, women's right activist Leymah Gbowee, to lead a new peace and reconciliation initiative to heal the divisions in the country.

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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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