-PYJ reacts to dismissal of Cooper Kruah
By: Naneka Hoffman
Speaking in an interview with the Voice of America Day Break Africa, on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, described President Weah’s dismissal of Posts and Telecommunications Minister, Cllr. Cooper Kruah, as a political retaliation, but Liberia’s Minister of Information Ledgerhood Rennie says, it is the sole prerogative of the President to hire and fire as provided by the Constitution.
Cllr. Kruah is chairman of Senator Johnson’s MDR party, which has parted company with President Weah and joined the opposition Unity Party.
On Friday, April 28, 2023 he attended an opposition program in Monrovia during which former Vice President Joseph Boakai, picked MDR Standard Bearer, Senator Jeremiah Koung, as his vice running mate for the October elections.
But the minister crossed the red line with his presence at the opposition rally that enraged the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) with call for his dismissal.
Responding to the dismissal in an interview with the Voice of America early Tuesday, Senator Johnson revealed that he had advised Minister Kruah long time ago to resign, given that the marriage with the ruling CDC has since ended.
“You can’t be a chairperson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) that is now opposed to George Weah government and at the same time you are a Telecommunications Minister in the very government that we oppose”, he says.
He adds that if Minister Kruah could have listened to his advice, the minister could have resigned ever since.
According to PYJ, who is also a preacher, even on Sunday, April 30, he called Minister Kruah to the church office and few members of the Deacon board to advise him to resign, and the Minister promised to have resigned by today, Wednesday, or tomorrow, Thursday when he was booted out.
“For me, I don’t think it was proper for Minister Kruah to have gone at the Executive Mansion to tell the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs to inform President George Weah that he will be resigning this week.”
He recalls that former President Sirleaf employed opposition members in her administration and never dismissed them, but this is the style of the CDC-led government.
He notes that MDR is a political party registered under the law of Liberia with incorporators from all 15 counties, so the party is open to collaboration and has no regret in having the opposition Unity Party choosing its political leader, Senator Jeremiah Koung as running mate to former Vice President Boakai, a decision he describes as good news for the people of Nimba County, for development and good news for the Liberian people who want to see a real fight for change.
However, Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie, counters that members of the cabinet and the executive serve at the pleasure of the President, as provided for in Articles 54,55 and 56 of the Constitution so, the President can hire and dismiss at will.
Minister Rennie further argues the timing doesn’t matter because the Constitution provides that anytime the President can exercise this constitutional authority.
He says the suggestion of political retribution by Sen. Johnson is obscene because the President is simply exercising his constitutional powers, adding that the President doesn’t need to consult anyone before acting. Editing by Jonathan Browne