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"Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government, but illegal for the citizenry (Thomas Jefferson)."

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Liberia: President Sirleaf’s UNITY PARTY VIOLATES CODE OF CONDUCT....

July 8, 2014 - by Chorphie Charlie (gbanapekin@hotmail.com)

Chorphie Charlie
Mr. Chorphie Charlie

Liberia’s 1986 Constitution, Article 90 (c) clearly mandated the National Legislature to “prescribe a Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees.” Particularly, the Constitution emphasized the purpose for the Code of Conduct- to define acts which constitute conflict of interest or [acts which] are against public policy.” Thanks to the 53rd National Legislature, for passing a Code of Conduct earlier in 2014, which was signed into law by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, pledging her full commitment to uphold and enforce the law. Question: Why is President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s ruling Unity Party disrespecting and recklessly violating the Code of Conduct?

The Code of Conduct intentionally reinforces the moral principles and legal obligations of our Constitution, and to create good governing environs, where public officials must display acceptable and responsible behavior; and be held accountable for unethical or unlawful behavior. Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct expressly prohibits “All Officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia” from engaging in “political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices, use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities, and serve on a campaign team of any political party, or campaign team of any independent candidate.” The Code of Conduct could not be any clearer than what was written.

Despite its soundness and transparency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Unity Party continues to disrespect and violate the law. Executive Committee members of the ruling Unity Party continue to hold presidential appointments, at the same time serving in partisan’s executive positions, and actively leading the organization and promotion of Unity Party’s activities, like the recent Unity Party primary across the country. I am sure using government facilities and properties like vehicles, gas slips, scratch cards, work hours etc.

So what is the purpose for the Code of Conduct while Unity Party leaders continue to hold presidential appointments, in clear violation of the law? Just to name a few of UP leaders holding Presidential appointments: UP National Youth Chairman Amos Tweh serves as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs; UP Deputy Secretary-General Neto Zarzar Leighe serves as Deputy Minister of Labour; UP Vice Chairman Rixck Barsigiah serves as Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports; UP Vice Chairman Julia Duncan Cassell serves as Minister of Gender; Senior Partisans J. Milton Teahjay and Wellington Geevon Smith both serves as Superintendents of Rivercess and Sinoe respectively; Executive Committee member Commany Wisseh serves as Minister of State; Executive Committee member Rannie Jackson serves as Deputy Minister, Internal Affairs among others.

If Liberia must make progress in democratic governance, it is significant that President Sirleaf and her Unity Part respect the rule of law. Violating the Code of Conduct, by President Sirleaf, as Chief Executive Officer of the nation, does not only undermine our collective democratic aspirations but, threatens democratic stability and peaceful coexistence. The novelty for the Code of Conduct has become a ghost, in the mockery of Unity Party’s unethical dilemma, which self-evidence that the 2014 mid-term election would epitomize sheer fraud and election violations. The desperation of President Sirleaf, to impose her choice of senators, upon the nation, is already showing from the crooked results coming from Unity Party primary. Why should we expect a fair, transparent, and credible 2014 mid-term election?

Resolution: Holding presidential appointments and political party executive positions, at the same time, are “acts which constitute conflict of interest or [acts which] are against public policy,” according to the Code of Conduct. Therefore, Unity Party’s executives holding presidential appointments must make a choice: resign from their party leadership or resign from presidential appointments. But the bucks stop at President Sirleaf’s doorstep: fire your partisan’s presidential appointees, Madam President!

On the altar of Jehovah, I pledge undying resistance to political tyranny. Above all else, the people's struggles must continue. Excuse me, while I throw up-gosh!

About the Author: Chorphie Charlie is a Social and Political Commentator residing in Pennsylvania, USA. Email: gbanapekin@hotmail.com

About the author:

Chorphie Charlie is a social and political commentator who resides in Philadelphia. He can be reached at gbanapekin@hotmail.com

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