Politics

CDC axes lawmakers

The Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has dropped some of its current lawmakers during last week’s primaries held at the party headquarters in Congo Town.


The party voted out Montserrado County Representatives Julius Berrien and Dr. Edward Forh during the primaries, bringing onboard its Vice Chairman for mobilization, Mulbah Morlu to replace Rep. Berrien, who represents Montserrado County Electoral District #10, and little known Daniel Sebo, who replaces Rep. Forh for Electoral District #16 in preparation for October 10th elections.

It was breath-taking moment for the two incumbent lawmakers, who could not believe their eyes that partisans, especially, from their respective electoral districts, would vote them out while they were comfortably seated on the high table at the CDC headquarters.

The primaries, presided over by Youth Wing Chairman Jefferson Koijii, were observed by the students’ community and the media.

Though Dr. Forh and Rep. Berrien failed to retain their slots on the party’s tickets, Representatives Acarous Gray, Munah Youngblood, Solomon George, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, and William Dakel retained theirs.

The primaries brought on Abraham Corneh, formerly of the ruling Unity Party, who whipped former CDC Representative for Electoral District #14 Madam Regina Sokan Teah to capture the slot, while Adolph Lawrence, Bill Twehway, and Gabriel Nyenka, won their respective seats for the impending elections.

Mr. Garblah Williams, who challenged Rep. Grey during the primary could not face his defeat, and collapsed when the result was announced by the election committee. Williams, current vice chairman for administration, immediately collapsed upon hearing that he lost to Rep. Grey.

He was immediately rushed to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital to seek medical attention, leaving a rather subdued atmosphere on the party grounds. The disappointed legislative aspirant had serious medical problem prior to the primary though he failed to state his conditions. This is the second time that Rep. Gray has flogged Williams in the party primary.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

 

NEC starts candidates’ nomination today

Candidates Nomination for the 2017 October Presidential and Representatives Elections begins today, Monday, 19 June at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.


According to a press release from the National Elections Commission, the key electoral date gives political parties and Independent candidates the platform for inclusion on the ballot papers for the elections.

“Nomination forms for Candidates of Political Parties will be delivered to the Chairman or Secretary General of the Parties for distribution to their members. Alternatively, Parties can designate a Liaison Officer to pick up the forms. Independent Aspirants can pick up their forms themselves”, the NEC release details.

It continues that applicants desirous of being nominated must appear in person at the SKD Sports Complex from 9 am to 5pm daily, must return the forms to satisfy the nomination procedures.

General requirements for the Candidate Nomination process are: aspirant must be a Liberian; aspirant must attain the age of 25 years for Representative and 35 years for President and Vice President; aspirant for Representative must be domiciled in the constituency one year prior to the elections, while aspirants for President and Vice President must be resident in Liberia for not less than 10 years prior to the elections, and aspirant must be a tax payer.

Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission on Saturday, 17 June successfully concluded the Provisional Registration Roll Exhibition across Liberia. NEC says though there were complaints at some centers, the process was overall successful.

The Commission reiterates that the Exhibition process was meant to identify errors for corrections, ahead of the October polls. Hence, NEC says the Exhibition listing placed at all Centers across the Country were provisional lists and not final lists.NEC says its Data Center will correct problems identified during the Exhibition.

Brumskine’s Nimba promises

Opposition Liberty Party (LP) standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine says when elected president this October, his administration will reconcile Liberians to ensure domestic peace. “We will Reform government to ensure justice and the rule of law; the renewal of a country in which the fundamental rights of all are respected, and each is accorded equal protection under the law”, he told LP’s national convention recently in Gompa City of Nimba County.


He makes 15 commitments that he claims will be accomplished in the short-term of his presidency if he gets elected this October. He promises that government will underwrite all WAEC fees and make all government schools free of charge. Government will establish a Student Service Corp to draw high school graduates and college students into community service, working for government during their annual vacations, and in turn pay for their college education.

He promises expansion in the education sector; not re-creating the old Liberian education system with its bias towards Liberal Arts training leading up to the college level; and will use the Armed Forces of Liberia as a vehicle to assist with the development of the country.

Cllr. Brumskine says his government will reintroduce the militia, as a means by which young Liberians may be trained and become reserve soldiers, and in exchange have four-year college education paid for by  the government, among others.

Cllr. Brumskine says when elected, the Brumskine/ Kanwea regime would “meet Liberians, in palava huts, in halls, on the streets and the village paths” to talk about how government can rebuild the country into a magnificent mosaic of what the founders, both repatriates and those who never left the shores, intended. He argues that Liberia will never go forward without an appreciation of what each ethnic group, religion or political group contributes to the country’s common heritage.

As such, he says under a Liberty Party government, “we will strive to highlight our cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity and educate our nation of our heritage”. Within the first six months of his government, he promises the appointment of teams of experts from every ethnic group of the country to document the history of each, revealing the contribution of each ethnic group to the founding and the growth of Liberia.

He says the LP’s vision is based on four strategic principles, which he names as reconciliation, reform, recovery, and rebuilding. Education and healthcare delivery system and governance system are cited in his speech for reform, while also vowing to ensure that city mayors and chiefs be elected once again by the people whom they should
serve.

He says recovery is about national pride, those values that made Liberians one people and [make them] “brothers and sisters' keepers”. Cllr. Brumskine expresses believe that Liberia will wake up to the true meaning of what it was meant to be, a dream that he says is yet to be realized because other administrations have been unable to transform a nation of powerful men and women into a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

“We will Rebuild our infrastructure; and restructure our economy to open more opportunities for jobs, self-employment, and for producing wealth”, he adds. The LP political leader promises to move away from the Tubman economic policy, the core of which he says is the dependency on the export of extractive resources, rubber, and oil palm.

Instead, he says his administration would diversify the economy, with emphasis on the agriculture sector and will strive to develop Liberian entrepreneur, and add value to the country’s raw materials.

Of all the presidential candidates, Cllr. Brumskine wonders which one of them can Liberia truly trust, in reflecting on who was the man around that stood up for Liberia when Liberians needed an alternative voice in 2003 during jailed former president Charles Ghankay Taylor’s rule.

“Which of us has the integrity to lead our country; which of us has served in the Liberian government at such high level as that of President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, and left with his character intact and free of scandal?” he asked. He believes that with the support of most Liberians, he is now on his way to being the next President of the Republic of Liberia. “I believe that because I know that the salient issues of the ensuing elections are trust and integrity”, he notes.

UPP will not accept foreign money

The United People Party or UPP, dubbed the torchbearer of multiparty democracy in Liberia has vowed to reject foreign funds coming to the country with a motive to impose outside influence on Liberians.


UPP Standard Bearer McDonald Wento says if elected President of Liberia, a UPP-led government would not accept foreign money intended to sponsor elections here. Speaking Thursday, 15 June in an interview with journalists at the party headquarters in Fiamah, Monrovia Mr. Wento refutes perception among some Liberians that he United States has specific interest in who becomes President in Liberia.

He says on the contrary, Washington is always prepared to work with a democratically elected leader in Liberia. He continues that a UPP-led government would work with the international community, including the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, and Mano River Union, among others to move the country forward.

Turning to domestic politics, he promises to run a policy-driven administration with emphasis on education, healthcare, security, agriculture and infrastructure. The UPP Presidential hopeful also pledges to deal with corrupt officials under his leadership, saying, “There will be serious consequences for corruption, including prosecution, seizure of property and no opportunity for corrupt officials to return to government.”

He stresses a need to put timeline or tenure on service positions, and that the controversial Code of Conduct for public officials must be upheld without compromise for a particular person or group.

Founded by the late Gabriel Baccus Matthews in the early 70s, the UPP is an offspring of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia or PAL. Founding father Matthews, who died in 2007, following a brief ailment, ran into trouble with both the Tolbert administration and the Doe regime many times that landed him prison under the formal, and his party seriously restricted thru a ban on politics by the Doe-led military junta.

By Jonathan Browne

WAEC exams questions go online

The head of the West African Examinations Council Liberia Office has disclosed plan here to upload examination questions online to enable secondary school pupils adequately prepare as the country transitions from the Liberia Senior High School Certificate Examinations to the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations or W.A.S.S.C.E., beginning 2018.


W.A.S.S.C.E. comprised purely essay examination questions with no objective questions on the regional secondary schools’ test papers. The man leading this transition is Dale G. Gbote, who was recently appointed Head of WAEC Liberia Office, replacing John Gayflor. He says the office in Liberia plans to put about 1,000 examination questions online, covering all subjects for secondary school students to access and study, among which 60 questions would be drawn for each subject to be administered to students during the examinations.

Until his ascendency to the WAEC Liberia highest office, Mr. Gbotoe had served as head for the Testing Division at the institution. The WAEC Liberia boss says one of his key priorities is to decentralize the office by establishing regional offices in Central Liberia, Nimba and the southeast of the country as well as adapt an automation marking process for examinations papers to avoid manual marking of papers following the examinations.

he Liberia office has digitized registration processes for both private and school candidates, including examination results, making it easier for school administrators to upload candidates’ basic information online and for candidates to go online to check results of examinations administered.

Mr. Gbote discloses that WAEC registered a total of 554 senior high schools across the country for the 2017 secondary schools examinations from 513 in 2016, recording an increase of 41 schools, while during the same period, a total of 1,266 junior high schools registered throughout Liberia, upping by 68 junior high schools from 1,198 in 2016.

A non-profit making organization, the West African Examinations Council based in Accra, Ghana, was established in 1952 after the Governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia approved the West African Examination Council Ordinances in 1951. Liberia became the fifth member of the Council in 1974.

By Jonathan Browne

Barclayville residents panic

The constant might appearances of an unmarked vehicle in Barclayville, Grand Kru County has created fear among residents of the provincial capital.


The vehicle only identified by panicking residents as “black jeep” with no license plate, is usually seen in Setor, a suburb of Barclayville during early morning hours specifically between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. each day.

Setor community residents told The New Dawn on Friday, 16 June that the jeep, which comes from an unknown destination, is always occupied by six masked men, all addressed in black. They narrate that each time the jeep enters the city from the direction of Barclayville-Kanweaken highway, it is usually parked behind an Assembly of God Church in Setor.

According to them, four of the six men with mask on the faces would disembark the car and spread themselves in the bush until early morning around 5:30 before they leave the area.

The residents are meanwhile calling on the Joint Security in the county to step up intensive night and early morning patrols to allay their fear as the country goes to elections.

By John Bropleh, Grand Kru-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Barclayville residents panic

The constant might appearances of an unmarked vehicle in Barclayville, Grand Kru County has created fear among residents of the provincial capital.


The vehicle only identified by panicking residents as “black jeep” with no license plate, is usually seen in Setor, a suburb of Barclayville during early morning hours specifically between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. each day.

Setor community residents told The New Dawn on Friday, 16 June that the jeep, which comes from an unknown destination, is always occupied by six masked men, all addressed in black. They narrate that each time the jeep enters the city from the direction of Barclayville-Kanweaken highway, it is usually parked behind an Assembly of God Church in Setor.

According to them, four of the six men with mask on the faces would disembark the car and spread themselves in the bush until early morning around 5:30 before they leave the area.

The residents are meanwhile calling on the Joint Security in the county to step up intensive night and early morning patrols to allay their fear as the country goes to elections.

By John Bropleh, Grand Kru-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Woman slices husband’s penis in Grand Kru

Police in Grand Kru County are investigating a 55-year-old woman identified as Lucy Wajac of Zogoken, Wedebo District on charges of crijinal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault,Lucy reportedly attempted to castrate her husband identified as John Welleh during a recent fight by the couple which resulted to his penis being chopped by his wife, using a razor blaze.


Welleh, who is presently receiving medication at a local hospital with several stitches on his penis, was quietly taken away by neighbors during the fight, who met the victim lying helplessly on the ground bleeding profusely.

According to family sources, the couple got into a fight after Lucy allegedly refused to accompany her husband to the farm to plant rice. They continue that she instead, decided to go to the farm of some friends to help them, leaving her own farm unattended to, a situation which led to a quarrel and subsequent fight.

By John Bropleh, Grand Kru-Editing by Jonathan Browne

NEC worries Sen. Taylor

The Vice Standard Bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, has described as troubling and politically worrisome, the recently published provisional listing of registered eligible voters from the voter registration exercise by the National Elections Commission (NEC), which does not capture names of a significant number of eligible voters, who participated in the exercise.


She says this evidenced by public outcry across the country due to omission of names of registered voters from the voters’ roll exhibition by NEC. Speaking in Gbarnga, Bong County over the weekend, Senator Taylor notes that while it is true that the current voters roll on display is provisional, the response of NEC to this grave situation is inadequate, evasive and unacceptable.

She is calling on the Commission to provide adequate clarification on its stated position that all eligible voters carrying voter registration cards would be allowed to vote on polling day without prior verification and validation as should be done during the voter roll exhibition process.

Senator Taylor warns that it would be a monumental error of judgment should NEC, which has the constitutional duty to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, would want to pursue a path which seemingly eliminates a critical component of the electoral process, which is the validation and verification of all registered voters through a voters roll exhibition exercise, prior to the determination of the total number of registered voters across the country.

The CDC deputy standard bearer says the Coalition recalls that during the voters registration exercise, a number of arrests were made of individuals allegedly producing voter’s registration cards, outside the NEC system. Additionally, several non-Liberian citizens were also apprehended with voter’s registration cards bearing their names.

All of these occurrences point to the urgent need for thorough voters roll exhibition process to provide an opportunity to cleanse the national voter’s registry as one of the guarantees to free, fair and transparent elections in October.

Senator Taylor maintains that while the CDC supports the idea that all registered voters must be provided an opportunity to participate in the 2017 elections, it is absolutely imperative that the NEC rectifies the existing inadequacies, upgrade the current voters registry, with no cost to registered voters, and then carry out the exhibition process, as required to restore the credibility and integrity of the 2017 electoral process.

The Coalition for Democratic Change vice standard bearer therefore calls on the NEC to immediately correct the errors which have the propensity to engender confusion and misunderstanding in the electoral process.

The CDC calls on all stakeholders, including the National Elections Commission, to reaffirm their commitment to ensuring a free, fair and transparent electoral process based on rule of law, and consistent with the Farmington River Declaration.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne

Police warn private securities

Police authorities here have warned private security guards assigned at businesses, residence and other places “to be mindful of receiving gifts” while performing their duties, particularly food stuff.


“I will like to sound out a special awareness to security personnel, mostly security guards assigned at … various and respective posts at night wherein they have been entrusted to man people’s property. So
this is an awareness that goes out to all private security guards assigned at business …, residence, etc”, Assistant Commissioner of Police Alfred Quire warned on Saturday, 16 June.

The warning comes after two burglary incidents this month. In one of the robberies a private security guard commander Nelson Dolo claims he was drugged with tea by his subordinate before a safe containing US$35,000 and LD$60,000 was stolen from an Indian run Supreme Liberia Business Center in Gardnesville.

ACP Quire issued the warning at the police headquarters on Capitol Hill just before the Crimes Services Division or CSD sent to Court several private security guards along with other suspects involved in
the burglary.

Deputy Police Inspector General for CSD and Interpol Affairs Simeon Frank says the consistency of the victims led to the arrest of the suspects. He says CSD was unable to retrieve the stolen money, but vowed that the investigation has not ended and they will do more.

A shift commander at PROTECTO security firm Nelson Dolo and his subordinates Koffa Doe, David Quewon, Morris Paye and Varney Kamara were rounded up by police following the alleged burglary incidents of
6 June at Supreme Liberia managed by Indian national Jasper Sam, and another on a separate date at the premises of victim Moses Dorbor.

The CSD warns that “tea, milk, bread, mayonnaise” are some of the simplest food stuff that criminals use as offer to drug people in order to infiltrate businesses and residence to perpetrate crimes.

Police displayed several items allegedly retrieved from the suspects, but said they were yet to retrieve a safe containing an alleged US$35,000 plus LD$60,000 that had been snatched away by unknown persons.

The suspects have allegedly admitted to charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief and burglary. Suspect Varney Kamara who claims to be a driver, told journalists that he was not part of the burglary operation, but on the request of his friend, he picked up the rest of the suspects at JJY in Gardnersville at night and drove them to a compound where he was given some money.

Suspect Nelson Dolo claims that the tea he was offered by Koffa Doe seemed to have “something in it”, alleging that after drinking it, he went to sleep and did not wake up until 2am.

But Koffa had insisted that it was Dolo who persuaded them to carry on the operation, on grounds that the people they were working with are stingy in paying their workers.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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