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GeneralLiberia news

GoL denies AFELL’s claims

The Liberian Government on Thursday, April 6 released the below statement in which it denied claims that President George Weah had voted the section of the New Election Law intended to guarantee 30 percent women’s participation.

Below is the full statement: “It has come to the attention of the Government of Liberia that some media entities are wrongly positing that President George M. Weah vetoed the section of the New Elections Law intended to guarantee 30 percent women’s participation in the National Legislature. Liberia’s Association of Female Lawyers has also elevated this false narrative through its President, Atty. Philomena Williams. 

In his communication to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers, dated March 9, 2023, the President made clear his support for this crucial aspect of the legislation submitted for his approval, while detailing reasons for his objection to other sections. Therefore, it is surprising that the media and some civil society actors, including AFELL, have elected to maliciously skew this fact.

The Liberian leader has consistently expressed his support for greater women’s participation in all aspects of governance; the reason he backed the effort of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr who encouraged this essential affirmative action bill that was sponsored by the Women’s Legislative Caucus. During their long legislative debates on the matter, the deserved vocal support of Atty Williams was conspicuously absent.

The President’s letter has been sent to the leadership of the National Legislature. We encourage Atty. Williams to use her vocal advocacy in support of the President’s public and demonstrable commitment to gender balance at the lawmaking body.  

The Government also encourages the media and civil society to continue being the moral conscience of society and avoid being made pawns by politicians. It can be recalled that the AFELL President made similar unsubstantiated claims in the case involving the death of the daughter of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott, even before police investigation began in earnest.

This unfortunate trend seems to be gaining traction as the country moves closer to elections in October. The government urges those expected to hold it to account to ensure the public discourse is grounded in fact, instead of allowing themselves to get drawn in the different political machinations.”

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