‘Creeping Dictatorship’ – Open Liberia Terms Pres. Weah’s Proposal On Cancellation Of Tenured Positions

Monrovia: Open Liberia has termed Pres.George Weah’s recent proposal on the Cancelation of all tenured positions as an element to create, patronize and perpetuate a celebrated democratic dictator in the country’s governance system.

President Weah’s proposal was contained in a letter submitted to the Legislature while he requested an extraordinary session to discuss key national issues pertinent amongst them is the cancelation of all tenured positions.

The president wants to change the way the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberia Maritime Authority (LAM), Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NACSSCORP), Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), LEITI, amongst others operate.

“Sometimes last week, our nation woke up to the sad news of a sad decision by the president to alter the autonomy, independence, and sanctity of certain positions in our governance system – contrary to international best practices in open and good governance”, Esther Kellen Program Manager of Open Liberia said.

Madam Kellen stated that the silence of lawmakers on the matter grossly undermines good governance and transparency pointing out that particularly in the absence of an empirical study to prove how ineffective these tenured positions are, the president’s proposal is saddened.

“Granted that our lawmakers and actors in the executive and judiciary branches of government are not seeing the intent and potential ruining result of the proposed law by the president, Open Liberia wishes to categorically state that the proposal is simply meant to create, patronize and perpetuate a celebrated democratic dictator”, she noted.

“Mr. Weah may have been elected through a democratic process, but his composure in recent times should be a signal that yes indeed a dictator is in the making, and he’s doing so finely while people think he’s not aware of what’s he’s doing. But nope, the president is very much aware of what’s doing: amassing power to a position that is already too powerful”, madam Kellen averred.

However she stated that the intention of Liberians over the years in casting their ballots to effect change has taken another shape with President Weah’s posture on national issues that affect the citizenry,

“When we went to the polls in 2005, 2011 and 2017, we didn’t have in our mind that the reason we’re voting Mr. Weah was for him to tamper, in a wrong way, with our governance and democracy. The president wants to amass power unto him takes our governance from being a democracy to an autocracy – and this is certainly not what we signed up for”.

Open Liberia Program Officer questions the President’s signing into law the Decentralization’s act which calls for power to the people as a contradiction to his recent proposal on withholding the credibility of anti-graphs institutions.

“How soon has our president forgotten that when he was a candidate from 2005 to 2017, his mantra was ‘Power to the People, Yes We can?’ How come it’s turned out to be ‘Power to Me, Mr. President?” How can power be to the people when, based on the way you’ve structured our governance, no one can tell the king that he’s naked?”

Open Liberia Program Officer noted that until proven otherwise, the president’s decision is meant to create temporary distraction from other pressing national issues like the L$16bn scandal and his mansion construction as well as ongoing proven malfeasance at the LPRC so as to buy time to gear up to perform his tasks, especially the productive ones.

“Open Liberia cannot fathom a Liberia where the president is the judge, the payer and the spectator at the same time. Mr. Weah’s decision to terminate these tenured positions has the ability to undermine the functional independence of these institutions to perform – and this is not what we signed up for when we voted.

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