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Victory for Change Party Eyes Merger

Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, Nat’l Chairman

Victory for Change Party’s (VCP) National Chairman, Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, has disclosed plans by the party to merge with other political parties ahead of the 2017 elections.

Cllr. Tulay said, during the party’s convention held on April 22, 2017, in Gbarnga, Bong County, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) sought mandate to discuss collaboration with other political parties.

Speaking with the In Profile Daily on Monday at the party’s headquarters in Monrovia, the VCP Chairman revealed that discussions are being held with several political parties aimed at forming a coalition or an alliance.

He named the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Liberty Party (LP), Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) as political parties with which the VCP has begun discussions while planning to meet the ruling Unity Party (UP) and others.

Commenting on the convention, Cllr. Tulay explained that delegates elected officers of the party, including him, for the next six years. He was re-elected Chairman. The elected officials include: Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, National Chairman; Dr. Kettehkumuehn Murray, Vice Chair for Administration; David A. Kankalan, Vice Chair for Operations, Mobilization & Recruitment; Linda Kherkei, Vice Chiar for Gender & Social Services; Joe K. Williams, Vice Chair for Election Commission and A. Nyenpan Saytue, National Secretary General, among others and county coordinators.

According to him, the convention could not elect the party’s political leader because two persons who declared intention for the post did not turn out after former standard bearer, Cllr. Marcus Jones, told the party he was no longer interested.

As a result, Cllr. Tulay said the two persons in question will be notified in two weeks of a new date for the election as well as local primaries. He further noted that post for Vice Chairperson for Governmental Affairs and Vice Chairperson for Gender and Social Affairs remains vacant because nobody has applied for it.

Cllr. Tulay indicated that, if efforts to collaborate do not work, they will go to election, adding, “We will also go to the poll with our legislative candidates if we don’t get standard bearer.”

Meanwhile, the VCP Chairman said he was happy for the encouraging turnout at the convention, commending the convention committee, delegates and other invitees for making the event successful. Cllr. Tulay said 90 percent of the party delegates from across Liberia graced the convention, saying, “We could not reach the balance 10 percent due to drop in signals (mobile network) and other factors. But we are making sure to connect with them on the ongoing development of the party.”

Also during the convention, Cllr. Tulay said the National Executive Committee (NEC) made reports to the delegates on the working of the party and sought mandates to approve decisions, and amendments by the Committee.

 

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Dual Citizenship: Factor In 2017 Elections?

NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoyah

“Dual citizenship, is it a factor in 2017 elections?  The settlers who came centuries ago and settled here came from Americas and today Liberia’s national leadership is primarily decided in the United States. When people want power they run to the United States to seek favor. People have Green Cards and are living in the States and here…. What negative impact the so-called dual citizenship has had on previous elections Chairman Korkoya conducted since his appointment at NEC? Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen, be of age not less than 35, and shall be of good moral character.”  

Liberians have turned their screen board on the doors of the National Elections Commission Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, following what appears to be a leaked document about him, alleging that he has a dual citizenship, but there are  divided opinions on the issue in different quarters.

Allegedly, Chairman Korkoyah  has both ECOWAS and American passports and his accusers said  he voted as an American citizen during the 2008 American elections, but he has sharply refuted the claims and challenged anyone to carry him to court and prove the allegations.

The crux of the accusers’ concern is that Chairman Korkoya should resign as head of the NEC because, in their minds, he is not a Liberian citizen to lead the electoral process that will determine the next national leadership of Liberia, but he has resisted the call as well.

One of the main stakeholders pushing the resignation campaign against Chairman Korkoya is Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, who has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to terminate  Korkoya’s service at NEC, claiming that there are several proofs to that effect that he has a dual citizenship status.

For  Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, he is quoted in Daily Observer  as saying that Chairman Korkoya  may have committed perjury if  it is true that he bears an American passport.

Cllr. Gongloe was quick to quote Section 2.3 of the Election Laws of Liberia, which speaks of qualifications of appointees to the NEC, stating, “Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen, be of age not less than 35, and shall be of  good moral character.”

However, there are political parties , including the Coalition for Democratic Change of Senator George Weah, the Movement for Progressive Change of Simeon Freeman, likewise ordinary Liberians who are opposed to the call for Korkoya’s resignation based on accusations that he holds ECOWAS and American passports, and that he reportedly voted in American elections in 2008.

For those defending Chairman Korkoya to stay on and conduct the pending presidential and legislative elections, they argue that he had held successful elections since his appointment by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of the such elections being the 20 14 Special Senatorial election.

Others have also argued that when Cllr. Korkoya was nominated for the position which he had to go for confirmation hearing at the National Legislature, the Senate, or citizens who knew about his alleged dual citizenship, would have flagged the issue to deny him being confirmed and later commissioned by President Sirleaf.

Over the past almost twelve years, many appointees of the Unity Party-led government have kept their families abroad, particularly in the United States why they are working in Liberia. There are some who are accused of buying houses in the States.

It can be recalled that during the first term of the regime, former Public Works Minister Losene Donzo appeared for confirmation hearing at the Capitol Building and admitted being a citizen of America but was still confirmed.

“Dual citizenship, is it a factor in 2017 elections?  The settlers who came centuries ago and settled here came from Americas and today Liberia’s national leadership is primarily decided in the United States. When people want power they run to the United States to seek favor. People have Green Cards and are living in the States and here,” a former employee of the UP-led government commented on the issue Tuesday in Monrovia.

The former employee argued that what Liberians need to contemplate on presently is how to develop the country and that it is only sincere Liberians who can do that.

According to him, calling for Korkoya’s resignation based on his alleged dual citizenship status is an attempt to distract the attention of the citizens from the processes leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections, wondering, “ What negative impact the so-called dual citizenship has had on previous elections Chairman Korkoya conducted since his appointment at NEC?”

 

Female Aspirants Commend NAYMOTE

By Mafanta Kromah

Participants of the just ended week-long women leadership and political participation training in Gbarnga, Bong County have commended the National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) for the skills and knowledge acquired.

Speaking with this paper over the weekend at DEN-L compound in Gbarnga where the training was held, the President elect in Class B and a representative aspirant for District #4 Montserrado County, Nuwoe Scott, said with the strategy skills provided by NAYMOTE, they are now sure of winning their various seats.

Madam Scott praised NAYMOTE for the time, resources, energy and knowledge afforded them, adding that “some of us have no ideas of such skills and didn’t even know that there are skills in engaging voters.”

“Thank you for investing your resources in us because due to this training, nothing is impossible to us women to achieve and we didn’t just sat in class to learn what we have learned but will we are going to implement what we have acquired and live with it,” she promised.

Madam Scott also encouraged her fellow participants to not just sit with the skill acquired but also help impact some of their fellow aspirants who did not have the opportunity to obtain the training.

Also speaking, Madam Moima Briggs Mansah, a representative aspirant of District #6 in  Bong County, extolled NAYMOTE for the knowledge they acquired and promised to make maximum use of all what they have been thought.

Madam Mensah also recommended the DEN-L family for providing its facilities for the training and being tolerant throughout the week-long event.

On his part, Mr. Joko Kuyon, a traditional leader in Bong County, applauded the institution for empowering women in politics. Kuyon said both women and tradition have to come together to ensure more females are in high places including the legislature.

The Traditionalist also maintained that the past belief that only men could do all have to be erased and to empower them for a better society.

“I am happy to see women in numbers to fight men with your soften heart and work in the interest of the masses, be a real woman who wants to bring the message of the Lion,” he said.

Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is a good governance and research institution working to promote democracy and participatory governance in Liberia. Established in 2001, the institution has been one of the leading grassroots organizations promoting democracy, peace building, human rights and civic engagement in Liberia. It is the organizer of the Young Political Leadership School based in Liberia.

 

 

 

 

NAYMOTE Strengthens Women’s Participation in Politics

By Mafanta Kromah

 

Participants with certificates following the training

 

The National Youth Movement for Transparent Election (NAYMOTE) over the weekend completed a week training for 100 women aspirants and campaign managers from across the 73 electoral districts in Liberia.

The training was held at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound, based in Gbarnga, Bong County. The generic aid of the training the week training was meant to increase women’s representation in the legislature and empower them to participate in competitive politics and governance in Liberia.

The women’s leadership and political participation training was certainly to prepare females aspirants for the 2017 legislative election.

Speaking during the closing of the program, the Head of Political Affairs at the National Elections Commission (NEC), Joseph Yarsiah, explained the way one can be eligible as a candidate and what are the steps require to meet all of the necessary qualification.

Yarsiah talked about the NEC calender of the events and commented on the entire procedure from now to October 10, 2017.

At the same time, the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddier Jarwolo noted that the training was important because participants learned new friends, new skills and knowledge and also helped them build a very big family.

He said many never knew each other before; but due to the training they have built a family, saying whatever district he goes to and see these women working, he will also help.

“Election is a complicated one, you will spend all your money, do a lot of work but if you do not have the tools, skills and knowledge, you will not get a good result. We are thinking about working with you to d a lot of work and other activities like how you get the party to get you on the ticket, we don’t want you lose and go to another party,” he narrated.

Mr. Jarwolo indicated that they will work with the Coalition of Political Parties Women to see how best women aspirants can get on the political parties ticket.

“We pledge our support to work with the coalition of women,  as we get to town, we are going to have meeting to do a plan on how to work to engage, we are very interested in getting the various sectors in counties very active. You will never get money from anyone if you can’t work together,” he stressed.

He thanked the DEN-L family for hosting them for the five days, stressing they decided to do the training out of Monrovia because they wanted to have a quiet times and also engage the rural part of Liberia too.

He commended participants for the level of patient for the five days, adding “use the knowledge to impact your communities, work very hard, there’s no time to rest and start practicing how to develop your campaign messages, public speaking, engage the media, go to various radio stations tell them about your next activities, doing so you will have a positive result.”

Meanwhile, the President elect during the training and a representative aspirant of District #6 Salala, Moima Briggs Mansah thanked and appreciated NAYMOTE for the knowledge and skills they impacted in them and promised to make maximum use of all that they were thought.

She also commended the DEN-L family for allowing them host the training on the compound and for being patient for all the behavior during their stay.

NAYMOTE Launches National Women Campaign Team

By: Mafanta Kromah

Participants

The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE)-Partner for Democratic Development on April 11, 2017 launched a team called the National Women Campaign Team (NWCT) along with contribution of L$500,000 to support the Coalition of Political Parties women in Liberia (CPPWL).

The donation will assist the CPPWL lead a national campaign to get women on party tickets and conduct citizens engagement event and host mock campaign events across 10 electoral districts. The announcement was made during the opening session of the five-day women leadership and political participation at the Development Education Network Liberia, Gbarnga, Bong County.

The launching and contribution was made during the opening of the 100 women aspirants and campaign managers from the 73 electoral districts training, held at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound, based in Gbarnga, Bong County.

The overall goal of the training was to increase women’s representation in the legislature and empower them to participate in competitive politics and governance in Liberia.

According to the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, for so long men have ruled Liberia and they have not been able to transform the health, education, agriculture and other important sectors of the country, which has resulted to citizens lack of trust in government due to underdevelopment of the country.

He noted that NAYMOTE is committed in working with the women before, during and after elections with whatever support they have, stressing women are the ones that do the unfinished work.

Jarwolo urged women to tell their stories, and run based on their track records, issues and their messages should be short, simple and clear to the point where their platforms will be understood by electorates.

On her part, the Acting President of the Coalition of Political Party Women in Liberia (COPPWIL), Georgia Gaga affirmed that they are happy being recognized as the face of Liberian women politically.

 

She appreciated the partnership from NAYMOTE and support from UNMIL to ensure that women succeed in electing more women in the legislature. She said COPPWIL will visit all 73 electoral districts as well as political parties leaders to ensure they integrate women on their candidates listings.

“It is not about me, it is about Liberia so let us forget our differences and network as one because that is the only way we can make it possible,'” she stressed.

At the same time, the Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States of America, Samuel Watson encouraged women to use network and alliances with emphasis on a Liberia proverb about fetching water. “It says you can lift a full bucket to your knee alone, but you need someone else to help lift it to your head. it is with the support of those around us with shared interests that we achieve our goals.”

Amb. Watson explained there are two critical elements to the advancement of women, which he said, women need to build a strong network to raise many voices  to support equality and they also need to develop allies, including men who want to support women in their struggle for equality, with the inclusion of boys making sure they are mature with more balance view of gender equality.

He said they should carry message that will make the election important to all Liberians, whether, about price of rice, exchange of rate, or school fees, “It should be issues that concern women that are national issues that affect everyone. Keep up the aspiration and essential work you are doing, build coalition, remember your issues are shared issues, your voices are more powerful when you speak together and you can build a strong, peaceful and prosperous future for Liberia for everyone,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, the Co-Chair of the Liberia National Election Commission, Sarah Toe stressed the need for women to do something together with their male counterpart to enter the house of legislature so as to help improve the life of all Liberians including people with disabilities and also passing good law in the interest of the nation.

She indicated that women are tasked with the challenge to help Liberia compete with other countries in the world.

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NATMOTE To Train 100 Women Aspirants

By: Mafanta Kromah

 

The National youth Movement for Transparent Election (NAYMOTE) will on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 host a weeklong training for 100 women aspirants and women campaign managers from across the 73 electoral districts in Liberia.

The women’s leadership and political participation training is meant to prepare female aspirants for the 2017 legislative election. The training will be held at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound, based in Gbarnga, Bong County. The overall goal of the training is to increase women’s representation in the legislature and empower them to participate in competitive politics and governance in Liberia.

According to the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, participants were selected through competitive vetting process and they will be trained and equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge and skills to participate in grassroots campaigning and campaign events, and learn about campaign communications, public speaking, message development, press relations, voter contact and requirements of becoming a candidate and among other key areas.

He said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for Peace Consolidation, Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, will delivery the keynote address on the topic, ‘The Role of Women in National Building and Accountable Governence’.

Other speakers at the opening session will include, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America, Mr. Samuel Watson, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and the Co-Chair of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Sarah Toe.

NAYMOTE’s Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo further noted that after the weeklong training his institution will partner with Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) to host 10 citizens engagement events across 10 electoral districts in Montserrado and Margibi to find out what issues are most important to voters as well as host mock campaign events for graduates in the 10 electoral districts to improve their public speaking skills before the actual campaign period.

Mr. Jarwolo said his institution look forward working with COPPWIL to setup a ‘National Women Campaign Coordinating Team’ which will be responsible for fundraising, directing and supporting all women candidates across parties lines during the elections period.

Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is a good governance and research institution working to promote democracy and participatory governance in Liberia. Established in 2001, the institution has been one of the leading grassroots organizations promoting democracy, peace building, human rights and civic engagement in Liberia. It’s the organizer of the Young Political Leadership School based in Liberia

The United Nations Mission in Liberia Quick Impact Project support is the supporter of this program.

(Edited by Fredrick P. W. Gaye)

 

 

 

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Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara Applauds U.S. for Support to Liberia

Liberia’s foreign minister, Madam Marjon V. Kamara, says the Government and people of Liberia are grateful to the Government and people of the United States for the wide range of assistance the U.S. is providing Liberia. Read more

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Senate Protempore Hints 2017 Challenges….Highlights Importance of Coordination In Govt.

Senate Protempore Armah Zolu Jallah has hinted at major challenges facing the nation as activities leading to the much coveted October 10, 2017, general and presidential elections gradually draws nearer. Read more

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Minister Nagbe Against Bad Criticisms

By Mafanta Kromah

The Minister of Information, Len Eugene Nagbe, has urged all Liberians to stop seeing everything Liberia does in the negative way. Read more

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Unfortunate, but…-Deputy Speaker Describes Tax Increment

By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

 

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hans Barchue, has described as unfortunate the increment in taxes by the Legislature on basic commodities including water and called on stakeholders involved to work in mitigating the situation.

Speaking to journalists at the opening of the 6th session of the Legislature, the Deputy Speaker said though unfortunate, it is the reality of the time and hoped such decision would be inverted.

Barchue said the increment of tax on water was disheartening, looking at the challenges the country faces with regards to acquisition of safe water.

Recalling his action during deliberations on the amendment to the Revenue Tax Code, Deputy Speaker Barchue said while presiding over the deliberation, he resisted certain attempt to increase at certain level on some taxes, but surprisingly, these areas or commodities were reintroduced.

It can be recalled that the legislature in December 2016 during its extra sitting voted for taxes to be increased from 7% to 10% on tobacco, 35% on imported water and 2% for locally produced water and that taxes on residential buildings are increased from 0.083% to 0.25%.

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker indicated that his colleagues (lawmakers) also voted that taxes be increased on land within city or town limits which is currently at two percent an increment of 3.5 percent and that goods and services taxes increased from 10 percent and 5 percent. A 15 percent increment was also proposed to be levied on hotel services, gambling services and restaurant services.