-following public condemnation
Amid widespread condemnation for flagrantly breaching Code of Conduct for public offices, President George Weah’s governing Coalition for Democratic Change has withdrawn its recent campaign team for the December 8, 2020 senatorial election, flooded with senior and junior government officials.
The CDC recently appointed campaign teams to each of Liberia’s 15 counties, pre-dominantly involving officials from the public sector in complete violation of the Code of Conduct that requires public servants with political interest or desire to vie for elected posts, to quit government two years prior to election.
CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu said the decision, taken with full acquiescence of the party’s Governing Council, is intended to sustain the rule-of-law as Liberia moves to another electoral period.
Addressing a news conference Thursday, 20 October at the CDC headquarters in Congo Town outside Monrovia, Chairman Morlu said he recognizes that in order to consolidate democratic gains the country has made over the years, there must be strict adherence to Liberia’s body of laws.
The ruling Coalition seems to be indicating thru its explanations that it has not been aware of the Code of Conduct for public officials, which is far from the truth, as it was in opposition, when the Code was drafted by the previous administration under ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Despite being fully cognizant, the ruling party ignored the Code and deliberately flooded its campaign teams with officials that should not involve in conflict of interest, particularly during elections, which could put rival candidates at undue disadvantage.
Immediately when the ruling party published names of its campaign teams, Liberians generally condemned the decision, pointing to violation of the law and demanding withdrawal of the lists that had prominent officials, including the Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Bill Tweway and the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, among others. These two officials, under public pressure, subsequently declined.
At the same time Morlu admonished other parties too, including those in the opposition, to continue to abide by the elections guidelines.
While assuring the general public of the party’s commitment to do all in its powers to ensure a peaceful electoral process – bearing in mind that everyone has co-responsibility to maintain the peace the country enjoys, he said his decision doesn’t bar any Liberian from freely associating with the ruling party’s activities as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic.
He disclosed a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Coalition for Democratic Change, held recently in Monrovia, has concluded a list of party faithful, who will be appointed shortly to complete the formation of its campaign committee, announcing November 29, 2020 as date for the launch of its campaign at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne