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U.S/Liberia reaffirms resolution

The United States Congress this week passed a Resolution – calling for free, fair and peaceful elections in Liberia come the October polls. The Resolution was introduced by Senator Christopher Andrew Coons of Delaware and Senator Cory Anthony Booker from New Jersey.


According to a dispatch from Washington, the Resolution states: “Whereas the United States and Liberia share broad and deep bilateral ties over the course of a nearly 200-year relationship; Whereas the United States established diplomatic relations with Liberia in 1864.”

The resolution asserts: “Whereas it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Liberians died in the country’s two interconnected civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and many more fled as refugees; Whereas today the United States is home to an estimated 80,000 people of Liberian ancestry in vibrant communities across the country, many of whom sought refuge from the violence during the civil wars.”

The dispatch continues: Whereas the people and Government of the United States have a deep and abiding interest in Liberia’s democratic stability and post-conflict development; Whereas United States assistance to Liberia since the end of its second civil war in 2003 has supported post-conflict recovery and a subsequent sustained transition toward broad-based economic growth, improved access to high- quality education, health system strengthening, enhanced socioeconomic welfare for the people of Liberia, the professionalization of the country’s military and civilian security forces, efforts to foster the capacities, accountability, and transparency of government institutions, and the consolidation of participatory democracy.”

“Whereas in 2005, and again in 2011, the citizens of Liberia elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as their President, making her the first woman to be elected president of an African nation; Whereas President Sirleaf was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 5, 2007, for defending and advancing the democratic rights of her fellow citizens, in the face of house arrest, foreign exile, death threats, and imprisonment, and the Noble Peace Prize on October 7, 2011, for contributing to the nonviolent struggle for the security and rights of women; - Resolution noted.”

The Partnership Resolution stressed: “Whereas the Government of Liberia has contributed to efforts to foster peace, stability, democratization, as well as regional economic growth, development, and integration in West Africa, as demonstrated by President Sirleaf’s role in mediating a peaceful transfer of power in the Gambia in January 2017 and her broader leadership as 2016– 2017 Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.”

“Whereas Liberia will hold presidential and legislative elections on October 10, 2017; Whereas successful 2017 elections are expected to lead to Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944; and Whereas public confidence in the electoral process is vital to advancing democracy in Liberia and for ensuring the success of the elections:”

“Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate— (1) upholds its commitment to maintain and 2 foster the enduring relationship between the people 3 and the Governments of the United States and Liberia; (2) commends President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 6 for efforts to consolidate post-conflict peace-building and democratic gains, promote social and economic development, and foster ties with the international community, and for her work to advance international gender equality; (3) urges the Government and people of Liberia 12 and all of the country’s political parties to - (A) hold free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections in October 2017 and in the future; (B) adhere to the objectives set out in the Ganta and Farmington River Declarations and promote and ensure peaceful conduct among candidates, their supporters, and Liberian citizens generally; (C) ensure that there is robust civic education and electoral campaign outreach to often politically marginalized groups, including women, urban youth, and rural communities; and (D) raise awareness of and express zero tolerance for violence against women, gender discrimination, or social bias of any nature in the electoral process; (4) supports efforts by the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development to assist in election preparations; (5) calls on Liberian citizens to fully participate in the general elections and to pursue legal avenues to resolve any disputes over the results; (6) encourages Liberian civil society organizations to intensify civic and voter education, particularly among women, youth, and rural communities, and in local languages;”

“(7) condemns any external interference in the elections, including any communication or action by convicted war criminal and former armed faction leader Charles Taylor to influence the elections from prison; (8) encourages President Donald Trump to appoint an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to bolster diplomatic engagement with the Government of Liberia, electoral stakeholders, and civil society and robustly engage with other sub-Saharan African countries and governments; (9) calls upon the United States Government and international partners, especially election-focused non-governmental organizations, to continue to support successful elections and Liberia’s anticipated historic democratic post-electoral transition of executive power; and (10) welcomes the visit of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the United States Congress for her final address as President of Liberia.”

 

GoL opens expedited passport service to public

The Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cllr. Deweh Gray, explaining to passport applicants The Passport Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), on Wednesday, September 27, officially opened the Expedited Service System (ESS) to the public.

Performing the formal opening ceremony, the Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Cllr Deweh Gray, stated, “In our quest to ensure efficiency and expeditious service to passport applicants who for some reason or the other have very urgent travel or appointment needs, we have set up this particular service called the Expedited Service System, where applicants can come in based on the urgency of their travel need and make a request, to the Passport Division, which shall, after proper vetting, process the applications and have the passports ready for pickup within at least three hours after the payment has been made and biometrics completed.

She emphasized that the decision to provide this service eliminates the middleman factor, that is individuals who many times will take money from applicants under the guise that they can get their passports processed within a shorter period only to cause serious embarrassment to applicants who have urgent need for a passport.

The ESS allows applicants to walk in and after going through all the formalities, obtain their passports within a few hours. This service comes with a cost of US$50.00 (Fifty United States Dollars) as service charge in addition to the regular US$50.00 cost of the passport. This means that an applicant will be paying US$100.00, once he or she chooses to use the ESS which is optional and voluntary.

The service will be available between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily. Applicants can visit the Passport Bureau to get further information on this service which is only available at the Foreign Ministry.

Applicants who come in with naturalization documents at first appearance will not benefit from the system as their supporting documentations have to go through other vetting and authentication processes. The Ministry informs that the regular processing time for a passport is five-working days.-Press release

 

Nyenswah addresses IANPHI

The Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah has addressed the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).


According to a dispatch from Atlanta, Director Nyenswah spoke at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia on the establishment of public health institutes in the developing world amid Post-Ebola Liberia as a significant example. The lecture is kind courtesy of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) based at Emory and Emory University Atlanta, U.S.A.

It can be recalled that Liberia gained full membership early this year forms part of the 100 members from 88 countries of the IANPHI. The occasion brought together hundreds of guests from Emory University including faculty, researchers, professors, students, CDC employees as well as IANPHI President and staff.

Ahead of the lecture Director Tolbert Nyenswah also expected to hold separate meetings with senior CDC officers on Friday, September 29, 2017 at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta with a view to fostering partnership with Liberia-CDC, which is NPHIL and US-CDC.  Meanwhile, on Saturday, September 30, 2017, Director-General Tolbert Nyenswah will serve keynote speaker at the Award Ceremony.

 

Civil Law Court hears DDC, Simeon Freeman case

The Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill, Monrovia has begun its first hearing into the Action of Damage for Wrong Libel lawsuit filed by Deepening Democracy Coalition (DDC) a conglomeration of four media-related institutions against Mr. Simeon Freeman, Political Leader and Standard Bearer of the Movement for Progressive Change party (MPC).


Mr. Freeman is a presidential hopeful in the impending elections. The complainants, in their complaint before Judge J. Boima Conto of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court, narrate that on Monday, September 25, 2017 and on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, the defendant, Mr. Freeman, published in the FrontPage Africa newspaper, website and other media outlets the libelous allegation against Plaintiff that states that “The standard bearer of the Movement for Progress Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman accused the organizers of the ongoing Presidential Debate of an attempt to extort US$10,000 from the party for its participation in the Presidential Debate slated for today, September 26, 2017.”

According to the court document, on September 26, 2017, plaintiff sent a communication to Defendant Freeman, demanding proof of extortion or to retract the claim in 24 hours, and that up to the expiry of the ultimatum and subsequent filling of complaint, the defendant had not retracted or proved his false allegations levied.

The court record adds that Plaintiff says at no time did any of its members, under the Deepening Democracy Coalition contacted Mr. Freeman for any monetary contributions or extort any bribes from the Defendant to allow him to participate in Plaintiffs’ Second Presidential Debate or for any other purpose.

The DDC describes the allegation reportedly by Defendant Freeman as being clearly malicious and libelous, which has exposed the Coalition to public ridicule; defames Plaintiffs professional characters, harms Plaintiffs’ relations with their donor partners and totally reduced its esteem  standing in the general public.

The Plaintiffs therefore, requests the court to take judicial notice of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Wood & Co. v Gibson (1923) LRSC 1,2 LLR 409 (1923) (29 January 1923) where the Court said that “Action of slander into two general classes, the one where the words alleged to have been spoke are not charged the defendant with an indictable offense or tend to render the party odious or ridiculous in his personal or business relations; the other when the words alleged to have been spoken are not actionable per se, but only because some special damage resulted therefore.

Prior to going to court, DDC Coordinator Lamii Kpargoi, on September 28, 2017 wrote the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Gregory Coleman, bringing to his attention alleged forging of his signature by Defendant Simoen Freeman of the Movement of Progressive Change.  By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Jonathan Browne

What Puerto Rico Needs

WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump and the US Congress are coming under mounting pressure to increase assistance to Puerto Rico. The devastation caused there last week by Hurricane Maria has only exacerbated severe longer-term problems resulting from deferred maintenance on the island’s critical infrastructure. Puerto Rico needs more than short-term assistance (although this is also urgent); it needs bipartisan support to rebuild, with an initial and essential focus on a more robust and cheaper supply of electricity.


The existing electricity grid has substantially collapsed, with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) estimating that up to 90% of the transmission system may have been destroyed by the hurricane. A major dam is at risk. Damage to the air traffic control infrastructure has severely limited flights to and from the island. As Governor Ricardo Rosselló has stated publicly, there is now a real risk of a major humanitarian disaster. Donations are flowing in, but the total will be small relative to what is needed.

The Trump administration says that FEMA is working hard and effectively. Let’s hope they are right. There will be a lot of questions about whether Puerto Rico’s roughly 3.4 million US citizens receive the same support as Texas and Florida (and other parts of the 50 states) when natural disaster strikes. But the bigger question is this: What will be done – and by whom – to help Puerto Rico really recover?

Puerto Rico – a dependent territory of the US – needs major investment in its essential infrastructure to bring it at least to the level of the 50 states. After the humanitarian situation is stabilized, policymakers should focus on providing Puerto Rico with stable, reliable, and cost-effective electric power, generated primarily by renewables and distributed over a smart, resilient grid. Ensuring energy availability will be indispensable for stability and sustained economic growth.

Merely propping up aging infrastructure will not be effective. Cheaper and more resilient electricity benefits everyone – from the sidewalk vendor to the most sophisticated pharmaceutical operation. And all the technology needed to provide it is available in the US today.

Ironically, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the bankrupt incumbent energy provider, has been effective primarily in building its own competition. Electricity prices on the island are higher than anywhere else in the US (except Hawaii), and service is unreliable. As a result, an ever-growing number of customers have shunned PREPA’s offerings, relying instead on their own diesel-powered generators.

Noel Zamot, who serves as Revitalization Coordinator under the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, has suggested that a smart, resilient grid would be designed from the ground up, and would rely on distributed generation to mitigate the impact of future natural disasters or human attacks. Smaller, more agile power-generation units would be linked to a sophisticated monitoring and control system to ensure immediate startup and generation following outages.

Moreover, at least 50% of all energy could come from renewables (solar, wind, tidal, and more), including through the use of advanced storage technologies, some of which are currently under development. The bulk of long-haul transmission lines would be shielded or buried, and an information strategy that deploys sensors appropriately would detect losses, whatever their source.

Such a grid would stabilize costs for existing businesses, likely reducing the single biggest cost for most small and medium-size enterprises. And it would create conditions for truly innovative future scenarios. Imagine Puerto Rico becoming the electric vehicle capital of the world, with well-apportioned recharging stations, near-zero emissions, and car sharing for the tourism sector. Puerto Rico could even become an energy exporter, supplying excess capacity to nearby neighbors in the US and British Virgin Islands.

All of this (with the exception of large-scale storage for renewables) is achievable with existing technology. The key issues are strategic, organizational, and regulatory. With government support, and an understanding of the proper governance structure and processes for effective regulation, this vision could be executed within the coming decade. And building this grid would generate plenty of good jobs.

The federal government’s role should be to make Puerto Rico a hub for investing in clean, renewable energy that is resilient to weather shocks. New technology that results from this investment could be commercialized and sold to a world that is struggling to adapt to climate change and extreme weather.

The Trump administration would have trouble passing such a package of long-run investment through Congress with only Republican support; various ideological objections would no doubt be raised. But this is a perfect opportunity for Trump to reach out to the Democrats, and to demonstrate that both sides can cooperate on rebuilding and updating essential national infrastructure.

Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the co-author of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.

By Simon Johnson

Can they bring real change?

There is this proverbial saying that when the lion is not around, the deer runs wide in the pasture. This was exactly the case during the final presidential debate here on Tuesday when former Coco Cola executive Alexander Cummings questions whether Boakai, Brumskine and Dr. Mills Jones can provide Liberians the needed change they’ve desire.


Both the Unity Party Joseph N. Boakai and Liberty Party Charles Brumskine were not present at the final debate unlike Dr. Mills Jones from the Movement of Economic Empowerment or MOVEE, but that did not deter Cummings from taking a suave at them.

“Boakai, whom I respect, have served as vice president for 12 years, can he bring any real change? Brumskine, whom I also have respect, a 1997 former Senate Pro-temp, can he bring about any real change? Dr. Jones, who have served as Central Bank Governor for 10 years, can he bring about any real change?,” Cummings asked rhetorically as he offered himself as the real game changer asking Liberians to make that decision at the ballot box on October 10.

The Alternative National Congress (ANC) party leader clearly outperforms his two rivals at Tuesday’s (26 September) final presidential debate for the October 10 election, succinctly taking on ex-governor Dr. Joseph Mills Jones and Ms MacDella B. Cooper, standard bearer of the Liberia Reformation Party (LRP).

Mr. Cummings’ public rating automatically shoots up after his brilliant performance characterized by detailed explanations of policy actions an ANC-led government would take to revive the economy after the first presidential debate.

Second of a two-part series organized by a local group, Deepening Democracy Coalition (DDC) with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa or OSIWA, the debate brought together the three candidates face-to-face at the Paynesville City Hall outside Monrovia.

With a corporate background, wealth of experience from the private sector and involvement in humanitarian work, Mr. Cummings boldly argues that he’s the most qualified candidate to lead Liberia out of its current economic quagmire by creating growth.

Nickname ‘Talk and Do’ or ABC, Mr. Cummings retired as Chief Administrator of Coca-Cola in 2016, after a 20-year service before coming to politics. He currently serves as head of Cummings Africa Foundation, a private organization.

Dr. Jones struggles unsuccessfully to debunk the ANC standard bearer by arguing that being a philanthropist is not a basis for national leadership, but at the same time agrees that the private sector is the engine for economic growth and prosperity.

“Being a philanthropist and being a government leader is not mutually exclusive’, Mr. Cummings reacts, adding that both skills are needed in whatever leadership one ascends to.

He vows to grow the national budget from 500m to one billion thru agriculture, investment, cutting wastes and creating 700,000 jobs across the country under an ANC-led government.

The only female presidential candidate in the race, LRP standard bearer Madam MacDella Cooper says many Liberians are hungry across the country and stresses the need spend more money on education to empower Liberian youth.

Ms Cooper says while Nigeria and Ghana were spending between US100 and $150 to educate one youth, Liberia spends about $50 to $75 in educating a child; an amount which she emphasizes should be increased.

However, both Dr. Jones and Mr. Cummings agreed on getting criminals dubbed here as zogos out of the streets and providing them skills that would make them productive.

All three candidates are unanimous on fighting rape and corruption, promoting right to land ownership, women right and empowerment.

The DDC first debate held in August organized for the six top candidates was attended by Mr. Cummings, Cllr. Charles Brumskine of Liberty Party, businessman-turned politician Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the governing Unity Party.

Dr. Joseph Mills Jones of MOVEE and Coalition standard bearer Senator George Weah did not attend.

Simeon Freeman gets budget 101 lecture

Independent Presidential Candidate Senator Oscar Cooper opens a tutorial class on the national budget for rival candidate businessman Simeon Freeman of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) party at the last of series of debate among six presidential candidates organized by the Liberia Media Development Initiative or LMDI.


Dubbed “Docor Debate”, the exercise held in the auditorium of the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia on Saturday, 23 September brought together face to face six candidates, including the only female in the presidential race Ms. MacDella B. Cooper of the Liberia Reformation Party (LRP). Others include Independent Candidate Rev. Yarkpajuwurm N. Mator, Rev. Kennedy Gbleyah Sandy of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTP) and Jeremiah Z. Weapoe of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), respectively.

In cross-examination, the candidates ask one another questions on their respective polices and agenda for the country with MPC standard bearer Simeon Freeman, challenging Senator Cooper’s plan to cut his own salary and benefits if elected President and those of senior officials of his government in order to create 15,000 new jobs and fund other vulnerable sectors of the economy.

Mr. Freeman says this is impossible because the budget is law and no President has right to singlehandedly cut salaries of officials, let along members of other branches of government. But Independent Candidate Cooper, a sitting Senator, disagrees, arguing that there is no standing law about the budget, explaining that the national instrument only becomes law after the President signs it.

He continues that each budgetary year is different, as nothing is written in concrete, so there is always room for adjustments here and there.

Campaigning on the slogan, “the Oscar Cooper Xperience”, he lectures that the mathematical calculation has already been done, claiming that if salaries and benefits of senior officials, including the President, Vice President, Speaker, Senate Pro-tempore, Chief Justice and Associate Justices, and the cabinet, among others were to be cut, US$9888,000 would be generated annually.

On the other hand, Senator Cooper, who prides himself as an advocate in the Liberian Senate for job creation, says the MPC standard bearer’s promise to create 100,000 jobs is impossible, saying “I heard people say they want to create 100,000 jobs; it is not possible.”

Candidate Jeremiah Weapoe of the VOLT agrees with Sen. Cooper that 100,000 jobs every month is not feasible; instead, he promises, “Under my administration, every year we will create 10,000 jobs.”

“We need a mixed economy, not a command economy where Sen. Cooper, the President and her officials are directing everything”, Weapoe fires.

Still on job creation, he vows to create an agriculture battalion within the Armed Forces of Liberia, and, like Liberty Party standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker intends to do if elected as President, recruits criminals and loiters commonly referred to here as “zogo” into the military to reform them.

“When we do that, we will not only be empowering them, but providing security”, The VOLT standard bearer explains.

Job creation has been a key challenge of the Sirleaf Administration in its two terms in office. The government concedes that it has not done enough to meet the expectations of young people with promise of 20,000 jobs that were never fulfilled.

The LMDI’s “Ducor Debate” among president candidates was the last exactly two weeks before the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, having held two earlier debates for the presidency both in Nimba and Bomi Counties.

Sen. Morias campaigns for VP Boakai

Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias launches a SOS call for citizens in his county to elect Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as Liberia’s next President.Addressing cross section of citizens at the Park Intellectual Forum in Middle Sex community, Harper City recently, Senator Morias says Vice President Boakai has all that is required for the presidency and is the only person that can continue and complete the developmental agenda of the governing Unity Party.
Morias, a member of the National Patriotic Party or NPP, pledges his support for the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai after the NPP formed a merger with the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, and the Liberia People Democratic Party or LPDP.
The three-party marriage is now called the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC. Senator Morias is among 21 senators that are supporting VP Boakai’s presidential bid.
His support for VP Boakai led to his suspension from the NPP, but Morias says he regrets nothing and that his decision is of the majority that would positively transform Liberia after the Sirleaf Presidency.
He told youth of Maryland during his deliberation at the forum that if Liberia is to develop and be like other countries in the sub-region, there is need to elect Vice President Boakai, who is development-oriented.
He maintains that the Unity Party standard bearer understands government, he thinks, loves, and wants to build Liberia.
He describes Vice President Boakai as a man with clean records, and dismissed rumors that electing Joseph Boakai is a third term for Unity Party.
Senator Morias continues that if Vice President Boakai were elected President of Liberia, it would mark his first term, because he never acted as President for the 12 years he serves as Vice President under Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
He promises to work closely with all auxiliaries groups in the country to ensure VP Boakai obtains 75 percent of the total votes in Maryland County.
Maryland County with 84 voting precincts in three electoral districts, has a total of 57,244 registered voters.
The Maryland lawmaker declares the county currently locked down for the Boakai-Nuquay Ticket for the October polls and calls on other politicians not to waste their time in securing votes from the county, because Marylanders, particularly the traditional groups have unanimously agreed to elect VP Boakai the next President of Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne

Sen. Morias campaigns for VP Boakai

Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias launches a SOS call for citizens in his county to elect Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as Liberia’s next President.Addressing cross section of citizens at the Park Intellectual Forum in Middle Sex community, Harper City recently, Senator Morias says Vice President Boakai has all that is required for the presidency and is the only person that can continue and complete the developmental agenda of the governing Unity Party.
Morias, a member of the National Patriotic Party or NPP, pledges his support for the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai after the NPP formed a merger with the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, and the Liberia People Democratic Party or LPDP.
The three-party marriage is now called the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC. Senator Morias is among 21 senators that are supporting VP Boakai’s presidential bid.
His support for VP Boakai led to his suspension from the NPP, but Morias says he regrets nothing and that his decision is of the majority that would positively transform Liberia after the Sirleaf Presidency.
He told youth of Maryland during his deliberation at the forum that if Liberia is to develop and be like other countries in the sub-region, there is need to elect Vice President Boakai, who is development-oriented.
He maintains that the Unity Party standard bearer understands government, he thinks, loves, and wants to build Liberia.
He describes Vice President Boakai as a man with clean records, and dismissed rumors that electing Joseph Boakai is a third term for Unity Party.
Senator Morias continues that if Vice President Boakai were elected President of Liberia, it would mark his first term, because he never acted as President for the 12 years he serves as Vice President under Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
He promises to work closely with all auxiliaries groups in the country to ensure VP Boakai obtains 75 percent of the total votes in Maryland County.
Maryland County with 84 voting precincts in three electoral districts, has a total of 57,244 registered voters.
The Maryland lawmaker declares the county currently locked down for the Boakai-Nuquay Ticket for the October polls and calls on other politicians not to waste their time in securing votes from the county, because Marylanders, particularly the traditional groups have unanimously agreed to elect VP Boakai the next President of Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne

Final presidential debate Tuesday

The Final presidential debate organized by the Deepening Democracy Coalition takes place on Tuesday, September 26 at the Paynesville City Hall beginning at 1PM The thematic issues on the agenda are as follows:


1. Economy (with emphasis on poverty alleviation)
2. Youth empowerment (with emphasis on education and job creation)
3. Land rights (in the context of natural resource management)
4. Gender empowerment
Seven Presidential Candidates have consented to attend.
They Include:
Alexander Cummings... ANC
Charles Brumskine......Liberty Party
George Weah...............CDC
Joseph Boakia.............Unity Party
Benoni Urey................ALP
Mills Jones................ MOVEE
Macdella Cooper.......
The first six were selected based on their ranking from a recently conducted opinion poll commissioned by the Organizers of the debate9The Deepening Democracy Coalition)
Madam Macdella Cooper was including because she is the only woman candidate in the Presidential race.
The Deepening Democracy Coalition (DDC) is made up of the Liberia Media Center, The Center for Media Studies and Peace building, The Press Union of Liberia, The Center for Transparency and Accountability, The Angie Brooks Center and the Liberia Women Media Action Committee.
These are six reputable Civil society organizations.
The debate is been supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA.
Invitation letters were dispatched to the candidates as a follow up to the initial invitation sent them on August 25.
On August 18 the DDC organized what has been described as the first professionally organized Presidential debate in Liberia with Urey, Cummings, Brumskine and Boakia appearing.

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