The Dougbe River Union is calling on government officials opting to run for elected offices in the ensuing 2017 National Election to vacate government at least two years prior to the elections in the country.
The Union said, such action would deny would-be aspirants opportunities of using public resources to directly and indirectly campaign for election.
A statement signed by the Secretary General of the Dougbe River Union, Mr. J. Aaron Manneh, said the action, if considered, will help to make the election free, fair and transparent without any cause for violence.
He said there won’t be no electoral violence when Liberians and political actors begin to ensure that everyone enjoys equal opportunities with no one being unduly disadvantaged in the process.
He called for a complete halt to individual government officials or group using public funds or resources to campaign for political seat in the country.
Mr. Manneh termed such practice of using public funds for selfish political gains as not only unfair, wrong and illegal, but criminal.
The DRU chief script identified the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Mills Jones as one of those government officials, who he said are allegedly campaigning with public funds ahead of the 2017 polls.
“There is a potential problem with the Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones of the Central Bank of Liberia for using public resources to campaign for the presidency ahead of 2017.
It is illegal as a public official to engage public duties with intent to get a pay back.” said Mr. Manneh, a former officer of the Liberia National Police.
He further noted that the money in question is not Dr. Jones’ personal monies, thus he must be made to stop running campaign for doing public duties.
According to him, Dr. Jones must be made to quit public office if he truly intends to run consistent with election laws of Liberia, adding, “It is sad that Liberians will see Jones misusing his office and no one has yet to say that Dr. Jones has violated the law and code of conduct.”
Mr. Manneh said it is unacceptable for Dr. Jones, who has presidential ambition, to boast over public resources and campaign far ahead of 2017.
This is another element of illegal act and has the potential to undermine the entire electoral process. This is how DRU sees it because it bears the element of corrupting the system, he noted.
“We want the 2017 elections to be free and fair without any form of violence therefore, the ongoing usages of public resources as goodwill gesture will not be healthy process for Dr. Jones himself and the entire system.”
He noted that while the people of Sinoe County will highly appreciate to have serious candidates like Dr. Jones in the presidential race, he must be made to conform to the rule of the game.
Mr. Manneh observed that history is repeating itself when Charles Taylor used looted resources and ill-gotten wealth as means of giving out free rice and monies which rewarded him (Taylor) volcanic victory in the 1997 Special Elections.