Despite taking Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor before the Supreme Court of Liberia for electoral fraud in the December 20, 2015 Special Senatorial Election, Internal Affairs Minister-Designate, Dr. Henrique Tokpah, says there is no bad blood between him and the Senator.
Appearing before the Senate’s Committee on Internal Affairs Wednesday, January 20, Dr. Tokpah said legal action taken against the former first lady was intended to fight the system and not an individual as perceived by the public.
The former Cuttington University president explained that the legal pursuit, which he won, was intended to correct the wrong approaches of the electoral system and change some bad wrongdoings.
On August 9, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled and ordered the National Elections Commission or NEC, to test the resolve of the residents of Bong County who elected Madam Taylor for a second term.
The interpreter of Liberia’s laws mandated the NEC to resume jurisdiction over the case and give effect to the court’s judgment by conducting a re-run or repeat of the elections by registered voters in three of the24 polling precincts in District # 7 of Bong County within 60 days.
The electoral irregularities were related to vote counts in Sanoyea Market polling place #5; the Yarbayeh Public School and the Beletanda Palava Hut polling precincts, respectively in Bong.
The Supreme Court’s decision came as a result of hearing into an appeal growing out of a complaint of election irregularities filed by Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa against results of the polls from those areas where Senator Taylor emerged as winner.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tokpah has promised to work with the legislative caucus of every county in order to ensure smooth working relationship between superintendents, the Capitol Building and his ministry.
According to him, one of his concerns is to work with chiefs and local employees in making sure that they are properly and respectfully placed on government payroll.
But Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay, alarmed that his county’s superintendent and other heads of local authorities in the county are reportedly removing qualified Liberians from payroll and subsequently replacing them with their relatives, loved ones and friends.
Dr. Tokpah promised to promote collectivework among employees and expressed willingness to meet with members of the Liberian Legislature on unfolding development. At the same time, appearing before the Senate Statutory Committee on Foreign Relations, Foreign Minister-Designate,Ambassador Marjon Kamara, told members of the committee that her ministry would like to purchase a building in New York, United States of America to serve as Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near that country’s capitol.
She put the value of the building at US$$9 million, but said the Liberian government is still in search of funds for such deal.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne.