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Local Officials Threatened in Bong

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Local government officials have been warned against supporting anyone intending to contest the senatorial seat in the 2014 mid-term senatorial election. The warning was given by the Chairman of the Bong County Legislative Caucus George Sylvester Mulbah. Representative Mulbah told a gathering of local officials (of the Executive Branch of Government) that they would be dismissed if caught supporting candidates.

The lawmaker said campaigning for aspirants at the moment has the propensity to divide the county. Mr. Mulbah, however, did not make it clear as to whether or not Bong County lawmakers will be the ones to dismiss the presidential appointees.

But under Chapter VI, Article 54 (d) of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, the President of Liberia is empowered to nominate and, with the consent of the Liberian Senate, appoint and commission superintendents, other county officials and officials of other political sub-divisions.

Representative Mulbah’s action is indicative of the excessiveness of the power he and others have bestowed onto themselves under the guise of making laws as a function of the House of Representatives.

According to our Bong County Correspondent, some members of the Bong County Legislative Caucus have already started declaring support for senatorial aspirants -the latest being District Number Five Representative Edward Karfiah. Representative Karfiah has reportedly declared himself the campaign manager for Senator Jewel Howard- Taylor.

During his declaration, Karfiah said he would campaign for Senator Taylor in the corners of the county. The recent statement by Chairman George Mulbah is seen by some political pundits in Gbarnga as one intended to instill fear the local officials associated with political parties who would want to campaign for candidates of their respective parties.

Others have argued that since lawmakers, including Representative Edward Karfiah, have started supporting senatorial aspirants, it shouldn’t also be a problem with local county officials supporting those of their choice.

At the same time, a reliable source has informed this paper in Gbarnga that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has summoned Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappay, warning her against campaigning for any politician, as the pre-2014 activities continue to unfold in the county, reminding Mrs.Mappay that her mission in the county was not to campaign for people wanting election. 

The President’s alleged action is reported to have sparked from several complaints from some individuals in the county consultations she has been holding for the election of Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Operations Ranney Jackson who contested the senatorial seat of the county twice in 2005 and 2011 and failed.

Our correspondent said Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Ranney Jackson was one of the two main persons behind Mrs. Mappay’s appointment as Superintendent of the Bong County-a favor she would want to reciprocate.

Our correspondent said at the time of filing the story, Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappay could not be reached as she was reported to be out of coverage area. However, efforts are being made for her reaction.

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