EU Donates To Eight Local, Int’l Organizations In Liberia

The European Union (EU) delegation to Liberia Tuesday donated to eight local and International organizations and when she donated huge office equipment and other valuable materials at its Mamba Point office in Monrovia.
Beneficiaries are: National Teachers Association of Liberia, Me and My People Charity Inc., Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) and the Liberia Translation and Literacy Organization(LIBTRALO).Others are: KRITERION MONROVIA, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Handicap International and Sight Savers.
Some of the items includes but not limited to: Executive, managerial, senior and junior office desks, Computers and printers, office chairs, water dispensers, first aid tool kits, thirty two (32) inch television sets and many others.
The enormous logistics efforts have been supported by the many contractors and in particular by the IOM.
The move of the EU’s donation is to amongst other things help enhance the everyday life of the Liberian people especially the ones with still limited access to Education, Health, Sanitation, including those living in more vulnerable communities.
The donation according to the EU Ambassador to Liberia Helene Cave is customary especially when they closed the European Union Observation mission to Liberia after a successful climax of the just ended elections across the Country.
Speaking at the official presentation ceremony, the EU boss to Liberia praised the reputable organizations for a great job which they are doing in Liberia and hopes that the donation will further help improve their work.
Ambassador Cave pledged the EU’s continuous assistance to active, determine and effective local organizations that are contributing to nation building.She encourages them to do more in the best interest of the people of Liberia.
Madam Cave said she was pleased with the recent statement of President Elect George Weah when he stated that he will prioritize Education which she added is cardinal to the growth process of any Country.
“I believe that this donation will go a long way for your respective organizations as such please use it wisely” the EU boss noted.
Also speaking at the presentation ceremony was the chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Liberia Kabla Ahimere who termed the presentation as a historic one for the beneficiaries including the people of Liberia.
Kabla said he was amazed with the level of tolerance showed by the President elect including other Liberians during the just ended electoral period, this is commendable he to a gathering Tuesday.
He wants the people of Liberia to work together with the newly elected leadership to help more the Country forward.
He thanked the EU for reposing confidence in the IOM mainly the in the logistical component of the mission to ensure that it was a and rewarding fruitful initiative.
In a happy mood, the eight beneficiaries lauded the efforts of the EU for what they all considered a historic and timely gesture to them. They praised the EU for always coming to their aid.
The National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), for example, sees the donation as a relief to them especially when they are on the verge of completing their National Headquarters on 12th Street in Sinkor.
“This donation,” Mary Mulbah Acting President of the NTAL said,“is a welcoming one for them.We are completing our project and were wondering where to get office equipment and other needed materials from and with the intervention of the EU we are so grateful.”
The NTAL boss, along with the other seven organizations that benefited from the EU’s gesture, promised to wisely utilize the donation for its intended purpose.
They called on other International Organizations to follow the good examples of the European Union for the common good of the developmental drive of Liberia.
The delegation through its Program Manager on Education, Elizabeth Mary Lanzi Mazocchini and Laura Virgili Programme Manager of Governance of the European Union, minutes after the donation toured two of the offices of the beneficiaries to include the Me and My people Charity Inc. in the Township of West Point and the Headquarters of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL)on 12th Street in Sinkor.
The two EU’s officials commended the two organizations for a job well done thus far and encouraged them to do more for Liberia.
Elizabeth urged the beneficiaries to help safe guard the materials giving to them as she will do a routing check in the coming days.
The Election observation is a vital EU activity aiming to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.
It also helps contribute to strengthening democratic institutions, building public confidence in electoral processes, helping to deter fraud, intimidation and violence.
Additionally the international body also reinforces other key foreign policy objectives, particular peace building.

Weah? The Spillover

By : Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

The Coalition for Democratic Change-led government yet to be formed is seemingly taking over a nation with bled coffers, as there are indications that less than one million dollars has been reported my media outlets to be what President-elect George Weah will begin his administration with.
Undeniably, a transfer of power from a democratically elected government to another democratically elected government, seasoned economists and state actors have indicated, cannot take effect in isolation of unsettled businesses of the departing regime.
As one analyst pointed out, ‘ government is continuity’ and the undone deals of the Unity Party-led administration will definitely be shouldered by the CDC-led administration, an inescapable responsibility which the analyst noted, normally brings pressure to bear on the incoming government.
At the moment, a comparison is being made in many quarters between the Gyude Bryany-led National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) which served for a little over two years and left about 80 million United States Dollars in the coffers, and the Unity Party-led government which commandeered international respect and support, but is reportedly leaving 500,000 into the national coffers, after twelve years of power.
President-elect Weah will preside over a lot of thorny national issues, including the already ratified but questionable concession agreements which are mostly likely to be meticulously reviewed by the new government to possibly right the wrongs for a fresh start of healthy investment climate in a country that is experiencing a crumbling economy.
The incoming President will inevitably capture Liberia’s domestic and foreign debt burdens; begin to closely monitor how technocrats will set the agenda to pay the debts the last regime incurred, while at the same time, attempting to fulfill promises made during the campaign period.
Already, critics at grass root level have begun echoing ‘CDC has won but we are not seeing anything presently.’ However, foot soldiers of the new regime would react: ‘We have not taken over and the problems we are facing are inherited from the outgoing administration.’
The new regime has a huge and zealous youth-driven base and ‘unprepared’ but committed supporters and loyalists who are opting for jobs and managing their high expectations seems very critical, while those with expertise are lining up with their credentials for the job market.
At the same time, pages of local dailies are capturing the expert comments and recommendations of political scientists and professionals who classified Weah as a “dummy” who could not in any way to elected to the presidency, setting the stage as to how to run the country. Meantime, inaugural fever is said to be intensifying and for elaborate media coverage, there is reportedly an emerging tussle over who should spearhead the process of attending to media practitioners during the exercise. Notwithstanding, constitutionally, the outgoing government is expected to lead the way and usher in the new government;

Weah Cautioned Against Interference in Elections at Capitol Building

The pro-democracy group, Legislative Watch Forum (LWF) is calling on President–elect Ambassador George Manneh Weah, not to interfere with the process of electing a new President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate.
The group, in a release, said its attention has been drawn to a recent meeting reportedly held at a local hotel where President-elect- Weah was said to have rallied senators to elect his kinsman Albert Chie of Grand Kru County as President Pro-Tempore.
Legislative Watch Forum reminds Ambassador Weah that executive interferences in legislative affairs have over the years affected the independence of the Legislature, especially in the twelve- year administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as such; the CDC- led government must not repeat those negative practices.
The civil society group said Ambassador Weah who speaks dearly about a people-centered and geographically balanced government must not contradict himself by attempting to influence senators to elect a President Pro-Tempore from Grand Kru, the county of his nativity.
The group is also cautioning members of the ensuing 54th Legislature to strengthen democratic governance in Liberia by demonstrating independence if they must attract and maintain public confidence.
“We call on Senator Weah not to allow any hidden hands to influence his thoughts and decisions into doing things that have the propensity to erode public trust in his government”; the release said.
According to the group, if Senator Albert Chie and Cllr. Fonati Koffa are elected, Liberia would have the President, Speaker and President Pro-Tempore hailing from the same county, something the civil society group described as counterproductive to genuine democratic governance.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Watch Forum is admonishing some members of the Senate who are reportedly drafting a resolution to bar their colleagues with three year left on their tenure from contesting the forthcoming Pro-Tempore election.
LWF described such resolution as pointless and unacceptable on grounds that the Senate has already set precedent twice by electing former Senator Gbehzongar Findley and Armah Jallah, both of whom had three years left on their tenures.

AFESL Congratulates Weah, Taylor

The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) has congratulated Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor on her impressive victory as the first female Vice President Elect of Liberia in the just ended runoff presidential election.
FeJAL says it is convinced that Sen. Howard-Taylor will continue to work for the good of the people of our country especially serving as a role model for women and girls as she takes on the task as the First Female President of the Liberian Senate.
“FeJAL sincerely congratulates Madam Howard-Taylor and wish that she discharges the duties of her new positions and portfolios with caution and integrity” FeJAL said in a statement issued Monday.
The Association said it is extremely confident that the trust placed in this astute public servant by the people of Liberia will inspire her to continue the efforts in promoting the rights of women and girls as well as contributing to their empowerment thus sustaining the gains made under the leadership of the first female President of Liberia and in Africa, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It also noted that Senator Howard-Taylor’s preferment at such position of the country’s leadership indicates that women and girls continue to have significant roles in our growing democracy and we are assured that her performance and influence will further encourage women’s involvement in a worthwhile political sphere of our country.
The females journaists body admited that Sen. Howard-Taylor’s journey has been an inspiring and amazing one counting from being a First Lady of Liberia, to a senior Senator of Bong County, a post she re-contested and won as the only female amongst the male contenders and now the first female Vice President elect of the Republic of Liberia; this is something the Association sees as an inspiration and motivation for women and girls in the country.

Recommendations For Future Elections

By Mafanta Kromah

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) over the weekend made several recommendations to the National Elections Commission (NEC), political parties and candidates, security, civil society organizations, the media, and stakeholders as well the international community and development partners.
Addressing the media, the former president of Kosovo of NDI,Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga recommended the NEC make available to the public data gathered on the gender data capturing sheet about respective rates of women and men’s participation as voters.
She requested that, for future elections, the NEC should eliminate impediments to civil society’s involvement in civil and voter education, conduct a review of 2017 voter registration process to improve the integrity of future voter register.
“The NEC needs to identify future entry point for greater transparency such as solicitation of an independent audit or procedures for the list to be publicized in full in a timely manner,” she stressed.
In furtherance, Mrs. Jahjaga suggested that political parties and candidates act against violence and encourage productive citizen engagement in politics, raise awareness of and express zero tolerance for violence against women in any electoral process and also toward female candidates.
She called for proactive measures throughout electoral cycle to recruit, train, and provide leadership opportunities for women to successfully meet the threshold of 30 person.
She acclaimed that political parties start to draw on experiences and lessons learned from the2017 election cycle to consult on, and advance recommendations for electoral reform.
“Political parties need to engage in proactive measures to strengthen consultative mechanism with the NEC such as the inter-party consultative committee and utilize information gathered on those individuals-especially youth and women who stood as candidates or volunteered as poll watchers to find opportunity to sustain their engagement with the party structures in the post-election period,” Jahjaga narrated.
At the same time, the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Ghana, Hanna Tetteh called on the security service to complete and make public results of investigations of any election-related incidents in a timely fashion to enhance public confidence and combat impunity.
She suggested they build on the successes of the decentralized, community-based policing approach used during the electoral period to consolidate security sector reform.
She called on the civil society to come together to compile lessons learned for reaching women, youth, rural and first time voters with an eye to conducting more effective, target civic and vote education campaign during future elections. Stressing that “Monitor political processes, including in the post-election period and with respect to electoral reforms.”
Mrs. Tetteh maintained that the media should only report verified information, clearly distinguish between articles written by journalists, editorials and materials that are produce by outside sources and publish for fees and discourage insightful language and dispel rumors.
She indicated that stakeholders engage in ongoing civil and voter education around issue related to election, legal dispute, and citizen engagement during all aspect of electoral cycle, including between elections.
In conclusion, she asked the international community and development partners to continue to stand I solidarity with the Liberian democratic process through support to democratic activists at all level of society and as well as sharing lessons learned and best practices for peaceful political transitions.

Jones Presents Election Certificate To District

By Yawah Jaivey in Kakata, Margibi County

Margibi County district #2 representative-elect, Ivar K. Jones, has presented his “certificate of election” to the people of his district.
At an elaborate program held Saturday at Harbel’s Field Hall, Jones presented the certificate through the religious leaders, becoming the first lawmaker-elect in the county to do so.“You elected me, I bring my certificate to present to you,” he declared.
The young entrepreneur turned politician told hundreds of citizens who graced the occasion that the presentation of certificate to the religious leaders of the district was in appreciation to them (citizens) for interceding on his behalf during the conduct of the October 10 polls.
Jones, in a bid to seek the intervention of God,entreated the religious leaders for their harmonization and continued supports through intercession.
He at the same time extended gratitude to the citizens for reposing trust and confidence in him to lead them for the next six years, promising to uphold the district’s development agenda proffered to them (constituents) through his manifestos.
Jones said: “The first line in our platform speaks and maintains that we will give equal opportunity to all and the qualification for that is you should be a Liberian; it is against such backdrop that we have gathered both Muslim and Christian leaders here today to present this certificate. This certificate I don’t deserve it, it is not a right neither a privilege, but is by the grace of the Almighty God because I have never been a politician before and I say again it is His grace because I competed among people who understand the dynamics of Margibi County politics more than I do.”
The Margibi County representative-elect said that without divine wisdom to lead the district, those development issues outlined in his manifestos will never be actualized, adding that those developments promised the people are not intended to offend anyone, but to improve the lives of the people of his district, Margibi County and Liberia at large.
He reminded the religious leaders that as the elections are over, it is now their responsibility to assist the leadership of Margibi County and Liberia to bring unity and reconciliation among them, thus aiding to foster the needed developments.
In a related development, Jones barely a week following the naming of his office staffers, used the occasion to unveil them andat the same time called on his competitors in the October 10 polls to put aside their political differences and join him to propel and continue on the development needs of the district championed by his predecessor.
“We are counting on everyone to work along with this leadership to ensure that district number two is a better place for all of us. We believe that by presenting this certificate to the Almighty God, He will be with this team, district number two, Margibi County and Liberia,” he maintained.
For his part, Sheik Jusuif Moseray, on behalf the Muslims of the district said he was not surprise of the Margibi County electoral district number two Representative-elect for showing his gratitude because from the onset of his political endeavor, he (Jones) was the only candidate that requested them to intercede on his behalf and craved their supports as religious group. Moseray praised the Muslim Community for the huge supports given to Jones and challenged them to collectively work with him in order to foster the development agenda of the district and subsequently Margibi County.
He, however, expressed anticipation that Jones will not disregard the engagements and interactions with his constituents in time to come.
Speaking on behalf of the Christian Community, Apostle William N. Johnson said they were glad that their Rep-elect would return to them with appreciation, noting that this was the first time for an elected official to come back with “certification of election” for the religious community to receive and at the same time request them to intercede on his behalf.

LIBSWU Extols President-Elect Weah

The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union (LIBSWU) is extolling Montserrado County Senator, George Manneh Weah, President–Elect of Liberia, following Tuesday, December 26, 2017 Presidential Run-off Election.
LIBSWU wants the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led Government under President-elect Weah to focus on national healing, reconciliation, peace and development as a means of moving Liberia forward.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union is also appealing to the Executive and Legislative Branches in the CDC- led Government to give the much needed attention to the Liberia Broadcasting System as the “National Broadcaster” to be more effective and efficient in the dissemination of information to the Liberian people.
LIBSWU at the same time mentioned that: “Currently employees at the National Broadcaster are the slightest paid in the Sub-region as compared to their professional colleagues. A situation that needs to be addressed”.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union further calls on the First Branch of Government, members of the 54th National Legislature to fast track the passage of a bill to make LBS a Public Broadcast Institution. This the Union said will make LBS independent in its operations.
The transformation of the Liberia Broadcasting System into a Public Service Broadcaster has been tabled before the House of Representatives almost nine years now.
It was firstly submitted to the 51stLegislature together with a bill to establish an Independent Broadcast Regulator and the Freedom of Information Act in 2008 by the Press Union of Liberia and partners.
Meanwhile, LIBSWU is commending the Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, for conceding defeat in the December 26 Presidential Poll and congratulating Senator Weah for being the winner.
LIBSWU indicated that the move by Vice President Boakai which is first in the political history of Liberia signifies that Liberia’s emerging democracy is maturing and called on all Liberians to reflect on his historical speech in making their country a better place on the continent of Africa.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union in a release issued in Monrovia, thanked President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf for her role played in maintaining a peaceful Liberia for twelve years and rebuilding its image among the comity of nations.
The Union further commended the Liberian people for the peaceful participation in the December 26 Presidential Run-off Election and called on them to join hands to work together and put behind them their political differences.
LIBWSU also praised the Regional Block ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and European Union including the United States Government and other friendly countries for their numerous supports given Liberia during the entire electoral process.
“Their supports had built Liberia’s democracy and helped greatly in the overall socio-economic development of this country” LIBSWU release concluded.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers’ Union (LIBSWU) then the Liberia Broadcasting Workers’ Association got Union Status in 2013, under the leadership of Maxwell Johnson, as President.
LIBSWU is now in negotiation with the LBS management to sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CAB) with the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Management.
The Union can also signagreement with other entities in Liberia for the promotion and wellbeing of LBS employees.
The Union recently participated in the National Convention of the National Labour Congress of Liberia where its current President Moses K. Dorbor, served on the Grievance Committee that ushered in a new leadership for that organization.

UNSC Impressed With Successful Elections In Liberia

Members of the Security Council have congratulated the Liberian people and government, as well as political leaders, civil society organizations, and the media for the peaceful conduct of the December 26 presidential runoff election. They congratulated the two candidates for the responsible conduct of their campaigns.
In a statement issued Monday, members of the Security Council commended Liberia’s National Elections Commission, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia for their preparation and execution of the presidential runoff election and for their efforts to address the issues from the October 10 legislative and presidential election.
The members of the Security Council further expressed appreciation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and all international, regional, and domestic election observation missions for their contributions to the transparency of the electoral process and timely assessments. The members of the Security Council expressed their appreciation for the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Farid Zarif, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), for continued assistance and good offices through the electoral process.
The members of the Security Council noted the importance of the upcoming political transition and commended active engagement between the outgoing and incoming administrations leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Weah.
The members of the Security Council noted the significance of the first peaceful transfer of power between democratically elected leaders in Liberia in over 70 years. They encouraged the incoming Government of Liberia, and the United Nations, including UNMIL, to continue to coordinate closely on the transfer of responsibilities, taking into account UNMIL’s closure at the expiration of its final mandate extension on 30 March 2018, as set out in Resolution 2333 (2016).
The members of the Security Council encouraged the continued engagement of the international community and donors to assist Liberia’s continued efforts to achieve sustainable peace, including in support of the commitments made in the Liberia Peacebuilding Plan.

Weah? The ‘Kinja!’

By:  Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

President-elect George Weah is expected as of January 22, 2018 to begin steering the state of affairs of Liberia amidst expectations and anxieties drawn from the much publicized ‘change’ which the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has promised Liberians to come about.

So far, President-elect Weah seems to be making   positively fundamental moves to engender unity and reconciliation among Liberians following the political bickering associated with the just concluded electoral process.

In less than no time, Weah reached out to Vice President Joseph Boakai whom he defeated in the December 26, 2017 presidential runoff, encouraging him to provide his expertise as the new government intends to move the country forward with the participations of every Liberian, irrespective of political affiliation.

This move followed when VP Boakai conceded defeat, coupled with his expressed willingness to work along with the President-elect whenever he is called upon, thereby signaling a trend of forming a government of inclusion under the CDC-led administration.

Though it is too early to grade the performance of the President-elect, his utterances are being analyzed to be reconciliatory with repeated vow that the new government will not fail the Liberian people.

However, the governed are keen to seeing the composition of the technocrats of the Weah-led government, wondering whether those with tainted records, who over the years had aided and abetted reportedly the spoilt system, will not make their ways through to implant ‘business as usual’ in the  new administration.

Like President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did in 2006, though President-elect Weah has not given his inaugural speech, he has promised to fight corruption, but how is he going to carry out the fight remains to be seen.

Meantime, analysts say Weah  may put up a lot of surprises  to show his commitment  to ensuring the change he has advocated  for since  2005; hence the  first batch of appointees need to be careful  how they run the day-to-day affairs of their respective assignments.

 

 

 

 

“I was Misquoted”-Deputy Minister Sirleaf

Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for administration Varney A. Sirleaf has reacted to a media report in which he is quoted as warning President-Elect George M. Weah against mistakes of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Minister Sirleaf made specific reference to the Wednesday, January 3, 2018 edition of the frontpageAfrica news outlet which referenced an interview granted by him to the BBC in which he was reportedly asked to advise President-Elect Weah.

But, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister refuted the purported report, noting that he was misquoted by FrontpageAfrica. “I was misquoted,” he contended.

Sirleaf said, in the interview he was rather rubbishing criticisms that President Sirleaf did nothing good during her administration.

In a recent interview with BBC’s Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, Sirleaf expressed disappointment in critics who are bent on characterizing President Sirleaf as a failure, especially in the fight against corruption.

He said a lot was done to fight corruption, but the slow pace of court proceedings which delayed most cases could not be attributed to the President as failure.

It was this expression of his disappointment in critics that was misinterpreted by the newspaper reporter as a disappointment in the President.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister has called on the media to present the facts.