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Gov’t sounds election warnings

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The Liberian Government has begun sounding its early warning bells directly at politicians here who are bending on inciting violence ahead of the October 2017 presidential and legislative elections.


The government though not specific, asked those involve in inciting citizens to refrain from statements that would spark violence and reverse democratic gains made here.

The warning came at the final cabinet meeting held in Bomi County wherePresident Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf and her vice president Amb. JosephNyumahBoakai were joined by House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and anumber of representatives from the House, including Reps. Edward Forh,Henry Fahnbulleh, Josephine Francis and MatenokayTingbah, amongothers.

During the retreat in Julijuah on Friday, 31 March, Liberia’sJustice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Frederick D. Cherue inform that gathering that it has been reported here in the local dailies that certain individuals were planning to destabilize the electoral process if things did not go their way.

“And that is what we are asking every citizen including all of ourministers who are in different political parties to do, to follow therules, to follow the laws and don’t let “us” [clash] because the lawhas been violated”, he warned.
“Yesterday I read a paper, [there’s] some group – in the newspaper,were saying that there will be violence if certain things don’thappen. We don’t want to argue with anybody like that and we don’twant to debate that issue. There will be no violence if certain thingshappen within the pale of the laws of this country,” he said.

After a number of ministries and agencies made reports at the Cabinet,Justice Minister Cherue indicated that to ensure the conduct of apeaceful election here, talks had been held with parties, informingthem to follow the rules, seek permission from the Ministry abouttheir movements and to refrain from utterances that will promote
violence.

While admitting that the security still face enormous challengeshere, Minister Cherue, however, said problems in the areas of logisticsand communication were being handled with assistance always beingprovided by the Ministry of Finance when there is an urgent need forthe security to move.

He additionally said meetings between the Liberia National Police andmarketeers, community people, the media and civil society were allenvisaged in the UNMIL drawdown plan.

Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman said everything wasbeing done to ensure the preservation of peace here as Liberia goes toelections, noting that the police’s outreach activities were not asign of weakness but a sign of strength on grounds that the policewere prepared for anything that may arise.

The head of the Governance Commission’s Political and Legal AffairsCommissioner YarsuoWehDorliae said the Commission wanted toestablish an inter – party hotline for the purpose of reporting whatis observed in the field, involving police and parties.

Concerning transitional laws, he recommended the inclusion of securityprotocol for outgoing presidents and vice presidents and what theywould expect, and had also recommended that there be briefing ofelected legislators between the time of their certification to thetime of legislative sittings.

Defense Minister Brownie Samukai said the Armed Forces of Liberiaunder the leadership of Gen. Daniel Ziankhan have exercised maturity,and hope that the heritage of the AFL is not politicized.

He said the army remains committed to engaging in activities in areasof development of the country, order than war.  During his report,Minister Samukai said the Ministry is trying to reclaim some 210acres of land belonging to the army, giving squatters up to the end ofApril to leave.

Based on President Sirleaf’s intervention, squatters are to leave theplace completely by 1 May, having reminded the Minister that April wasnot a good month for Liberia.

Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B.Garblah

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