The ex-wife of imprisoned former president Charles Ghankay Taylor, nowBong County Sen. Jewel Howard Taylor says “education is not arequirement for people desiring elected offices “from the Presidency down to the Legislature.”
“What does the Constitution require? And I’m saddened that EmmanuelLomax will ask this question. Is there a qualification for electedoffice from the Presidency down to the Legislature? No,” she told heraudience during a live breakfast show hosted on Truth 96.1 FM inPaynesville on Thursday, 27 October.
Sen. Taylor repeatedly argued that education was not a requirement forleaders here, basically on grounds that the Constitution did notspecify the level of education one must attain before being electedpresident or a lawmaker.
While making a case for more for women in government, her hosts instudio had just read a comment that they said came from Mr. EmmanuelLomax who recently cross – carpeted from the All Liberian Party to Liberty Party, suggesting that he could not hear Sen. Taylor emphasizeon qualification while pressing on the Affirmative Action Bill.
The studio hosts had said Mr. Lomax expressed concerns that some womencurrently in the Legislature have performed below expectation, thuswondering if Sen. Taylor was just advocating for all womenirrespective of competence.
But the former First Lady says the law requiresthat you must live in an area for certain time, the people must loveand have respect for you, and that they must have trust that you willrepresent their interest.
“But they have some people who … look, I mean when you talk education,how many of the men there in the Legislature are educated? And y’all stopharping on women,” she said. While the talk show hosts were arguing that the challenge that anuneducated lawmaker would face in understanding and performing theirtask if they were put on a finance committee, for instance, Sen.Taylor insisted that education was not a requirement. She went on by suggesting that they should just visitRep. Mary Kawah’s (an uneducated Representative) district and see how much she has done for herpeople.
She contended that such work for the people did not require a PhD, stressing that if men are not being asked about their qualification,women should not also be asked for their qualification if they seekelected offices.
Concerning the National Patriotic Party of ex- president Taylor ofwhich the Senator is currently the standard bearer, she said her“blood and body is NPP,” saying she has been tested, tried and beenin trenches for the party.
“When, 2006 when nobody wanted to talk I was still talking CharlesTaylor business here; I was still talking about NPP. I have not leftmy party, I have not created a new party and you have to, the citizenswill look at all of these in deciding who their next standard beareris,” she said.
On the contrary, she said when people had the opportunity, like Mr.Nathaniel Barnes who was Minister of Finance in the NPP era, Sen.Taylor argued that he was not a cart – carrying member of the party“at that level with that kind of responsibility.”
“He used to say he had professional job to do for the NPP and heprovided that professional expertise. He was not a member of NPP. Sowhen we were in the trenches working, 2011 as standard bearer, I hadto look at the situation of NPP going with the Unity Party, youremember, or go with the CDC,” she said.
She said a decision was taken to go with the CDC to enable theNPP get more of its people elected since CDC did not have peopleacross the country unlike the UP.
By Winston W. Parley -Edited by Othello B. Garblah