Issues affecting women were at the focus of a one – day women’s retreat at a local beach in Lower Margibi County last Thursday, August 13, 2013 organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Several women groupings from across Liberia, particularly women from political parties, NGOs, media, rural parts, the Legislature, Executive, civil society, and international partners had gathered to present a special statement to President Sirleaf, calling for equal representation in government, equal participation, equal empowerment, equity, as well as equal rights, among others.
However, the ceremony was punctuated by remarks by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff condemning the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia for ordering a re-run of election by the National Elections Commission or NEC in three polling precincts in District Number Seven in Bong County.
The Supreme Court had discovered electoral discrepancies in these areas during its hearing of the case filed by Lawyers of Candidate Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa – a strong contender to former First Lady and incumbent Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, after NEC had rejected such complaint.
“We the women of Liberia condemn the Supreme Court ruling ordering Senator Taylor to go for re-run; we do not accept it,” the Senator declared, boasting that no longer will the men – in minority -decide their fate, and complaining of a decline of women representation in the Legislature.
In furtherance of her condemnation of the nation’s final arbiter of justice, as we reported last Friday, August 14, 2015, Senator Doe-Sheriff, before the women groupings, publicly sought the intervention of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – a request the President declined to give any credence, perhaps, to avoid any interference.
And we commend Madam President for such low profile on the matter – of course, understanding and being very cognizant of the doctrine of separation of power.
Because Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff of Montserrado County may not have any passion to understand the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, especially as it relates to the doctrine of separation of power, her out-burst against the Supreme Court may be of no surprise.
If and only if Senator Doe-Sheriff will allow the sentiment of women’s representation in the Legislature without any credence to the rule of law for such gross disrespect and insult to Supreme Court of Liberia, Montserrado County, then, has a very serious problem of representation.
Moreover, such public condemnation uttered by a Legislature without any sense of reasoning that the Legislature and Judiciary are two separate, but coordinate branches of government, only reveals the Senator’s limitation.
Additionally, if and only if Geraldine Doe-Sheriff claims to be advocating for the rights of women, especially women’s representation in the Legislature, she should have led a nation-wide advocacy of the election of all women candidates in previous elections, including December 20, 2017. Instead, she chose to vigorously campaign and support men candidates – this is complete hypocrisy at the highest level that must not be given any credence as was done by President Sirleaf last Thursday, August 13, 2015 during the presentation ceremony under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
This is because, the Montserrado County Senator has completely gone “below the belt”, and apologize to the Supreme Court of Liberia.