Liberia elections 2011 : newspaper headlines for Wednesday July 20th 2011
Newspapers Headlines for Wednesday July 20, 2011
Relax Ten Years Residency Clause
--Catholic Bishop Suggests
A Catholic Bishop has suggested that the ten years residency clause be relaxed to allow all presidential candidates to contest. The Bishop of the Diocese of Cape Palmas, in Maryland County, southeastern Liberia, Rev. Fr. Andrew Karnley said following the 14 years civil war, many Liberians fled the country against their will, thus causing them to seek refuge in other parts of the world.
Bishop Karnley said while in those countries, some of them had to get engaged in economic and educational pursuit in order to return and serve the country.
Editorial: A Liberian Democracy to Make You Proud
As campaigning begins for and against the constitutional referendum, and as the delineation of new electoral districts gets underway tomorrow, I congratulate Liberia on a successful voter registration exercise, and encourage all Liberians to continue to work together to ensure that the electoral process is equitable and just and guarantees Liberia's democratic future. The United States remains a committed partner of Liberian and will continue to support democratic processes that ensure that the Liberian people choose how they are to be governed.
This year promises to be a busy one for Liberia democracy, as voter registration gives way to boundary demarcation, a referendum, and a general election. With so much activity, and so much at stake, it is important that all of these events go well and that Liberians enjoy free and fair elections.
The voter registration process was a clear success that built the foundation for free elections. For the first time in 20 years, newly registered voters will participate in elections; an impressive 1.8 million voters have been registered. By registering to vote, Liberians strengthen their democracy. I urge all of you to exercise your most precious right as responsible citizens and vote in the referendum and general election.
NEC Begins Candidate Nomination Today
The National Elections Commission (NEC) is scheduled to begin the nomination of candidates that would be eligible to contest presidential and legislative elections in October.
The decision comes barely two weeks following the official commencement of campaign activities by the Commission. According to the guidelines of the Liberian electoral body, the nomination process begins Friday, July 20, 2011 at the Commission headquarters in Sinkor.
Crowd Control Is Crucial
The Launch of the National Elections Campaign on July 5, 2011 by the National Elections Commission (NEC) officially kicked off the 2011 presidential and legislative races. While, the commission has yet to certify the contestants, which is crucial, it has admonished would be participating parties and candidates to conduct themselves in ways that will promote fair play and prevent conflict. Perhaps the commission singled out fair play and conflict prevention for the most important reason that their lack is the antithesis of free, democratic elections.
The caveat seems to have gone down well as number of prospective participating parties and candidates, in that order, have either been signaling their readiness to feature co=candidates or to run for such office. They have done so well, so far. Even President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a prospective presidential candidate, seemed to have relished the emerging political atmosphere when remarked this week, " I just want to say to many of those young people who are working on a violent-free political season: we should all join that. Let us have fun. Let us Challenge each other; but let us be respectful to each other and be peaceful.
Whose Area is West Point?
CDC or UP; Residents Give Mixed Reactions
Residents in the politically contested Township of West Point have given mixed reactions to claim that the opposition Congress for democratic Change (CDC) and the governing Unity Party (UP) enjoy popular support in their community, ahead of the ensuing presidential and legislative elections.
Liberia's presidential and general elections are scheduled for October this year.
The CDC of Ambassadors Winston Tubman and George Weah has boasted of enjoying popular support in West Point, particularly amongst youth.
CDC secretary Acarous Gray has said that residents in West Point are people from the grass root and against this backdrop; the CDC enjoys support from them.
But stalwarts of the UP had persistently dismissed the CDC's assertion on grounds that over the years, the up led government has worked hard in West Pont and has implemented developments projects in the area.
Deputy UP Campaign Manager Lenn Eugene Nagbe pointed out that the CDC would be shocked to note that it's perceived strong hold will fall to the UP.
For Elections Coverage:
NEC Gives PUL the Right to Accredit Journalists
The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the National Elections Commission (NEC) have reached an agreement on the accreditation of journalists for elections coverage.
In a release, the PUL said it has now been given the right by NEC to accredit all journalists desirous of covering activities of the elections.
These activities include the pending referendum and General and presidential elections.
The PUL is requesting media institutions to submit in writing, list of their trained reporters in elections coverage as of July 20 to August 15.
"Take Liberia Back To Liberians"
CDC Winston Tubman Urges Partisans
The standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Cllr. Winston Tubman, has cautioned his partisans to start tightening their belts to bring back Liberia to the real custodians of power who will deliver them from the untold economic burden the madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led government has brought on them since her election in 2005, noting that Liberian were now prepared to voter with their might, soul and spirit in this 2011 elections.
NEC Commences Aspirants Nomination As Many Worry
The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), James Fomayan, has announced the official launch of candidate nomination.
The exercise commenced on today, July 20 and will run to August 15, 2011.
Addressing a news conference at the Commissions headquarters in Sinkor, the NEC boss said applicants will be treated on a first come first serve basis, and emphasized that there will be no preferential treatment for any particular applicant unless as agreed by those already waiting in the queue.
The People Are Tired of Suffering
-Winston Tubman Tells UP
-But UP SG Hits Back
And true to the words of CEDC officials that have the overwhelming turnout of partisans of the opposition party to welcome their leaders Winton Tubman and George Weah, Standard Bearer and Vice standard Bearer of the CDC from the United States, would shut down Monrovia, it indeed happened.
Some said the arrival of the two men reminded them of the Bible story of the triumphant entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem
He said the action on the part of the government is deceitful and intended to take the nation backward.
UP and CDC Boycott Police MOU Meet
..As Police Remain Political
The ruling Unity Party of incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the opposition Congress for Democratic Change of Cllr. Winston Tubman on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 boycotted a meeting organized by the Liberia National Police for all political parties participating in the ensuing 2011 general and presidential elections.
Presiding over the meeting yesterday was Police Inspector General Marc Amblard and others senior police officers of the LNP. They had planned to explain to political parties the role of the police during the elections.
CDC Marries NPP, NDPL
Amb. Mayson Abandoned
The National Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Party of Liberia have decided to form an alliance with the Congress for Democratic Change, an executive of Amb. George Weah's CDC told this paper on condition of anonymity.
The CDC executive indicated Tuesday that the two parties have already concluded discussions on the issues and that it is only a matter of publicly announcing the decision.
Police Set Orders For Campaign Rallies
In anticipation of traffic disorders and disruptions by diehard partisans of some political parties, police Tuesday unveiled a strong rule by which political parties must adhere during campaign activities.
The rule requires all political parties to bear responsibility of "any unlawful acts or misconduct of persons or partisans taking apart in their political marches or rallies".
At a meeting with leaders of political parties here, Police Inspector General, Marc Amblard, urged them and their partisans not to disrupt, harass or intimidate journalists.
Editorial: Opposition Political Docility amid 2011 Elections
Historically, the opposition parties in Liberia have for the most part not existed as institutional establishments worth any salt. This legacy is seriously impacting the political landscape of the country as we edge toward crucial elections this year.
This is sadly not about badmouthing but the opposition political parties to say the least. It is about the lack of defined structural and ideological road maps that must inform their practical existence as human institutions with the sole objective on capturing state power.
Unfortunately, we have only succeeded in witnessing the tendency of one step forward and 10 steps backward. There has always been a struggle about the so called personality class, who has got the numbers or who can put up a better fight. Aren't these mere trivialities? Such is the plight of our opposition politicians in this country who are not prepared to grow.
Division In Ellen's Campaign Team
Over Residency Clause; A Stab in The Back?
As Liberians await the start of the national Referendum to settle four main issues, major among which is the ten (10) years residency requirement for presidential candidates, no one would expect a member of UP campaign team to express a view against the suggestion which many opposition politicians thinks favor the incumbent president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
A member of the president's campaign team, Mr. David Fahart, has argued that the 10 years residency clause should remain unchanged. Is this a stab in the back of the team or a test to those who argue that the incumbent is intolerant of dissenting views.
"CDC Must Await 2018"
-CDCian Intellectual Cites Unrealistic, Flimsy Political Agenda
Despite the enthusiasm on the return of the standard bearer and vice standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change over the weekend, coupled with high hope and belief in victory at the2011 polls at the expense of incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a student activist and member of the renegade DCD intellectual Response Unit, Ambulah Mamey, has warned his party and other opposition parties to save their strength and resources for 2018.
Mamey said the instead contesting in elections with unrealistic and flimsy political agenda, opposition politicians could save themselves the burdened useless expenditure when indications suggest that Ellen's continuation is in the best interest of all Liberians.
Defense Prohibits Campaign Materials on Military Facilities
The Ministry of national Defense, MOD has with immediate effect called on the public, political parties and institutions to desist from placing placards or campaign related materials on the perimeter walls of the Barclay Training Cent, BTC, and other military facilities within Liberia.
An MOD release, signed by Assistant Minister David K. Dahn note that the stance is intended to uphold the principle of political neutrality by the Armed Forces of Liberia.
PUL, NEC Reach Agreement
The Press Union of Liberia and the National Elections Commission (NEC), yesterday reached an agreement on the accreditation of journalists for election coverage.
In a release, the PUL said it has now been given the right by NEC to accredit all journalists desirous of covering activities of the elections.
These activities include the pending referendum and the general and presidential elections.
The former President of the Liberia Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Arthur Kulah, has urged politicians in the country to use what he called 'positive language;' during the electoral process.
Rev. Kulah said it was necessary that politicians stop castigating and using destructive languaf0ges on one another to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
He noted that politicians should discuss the issues and use their platforms to convince the electorate to vote for the in the elections adding, "Just tell the people what you can do for your country".
In profile Daily
Star Radio's Conspicuous Absence
-The Impact on 2011 Elections
It seems that the continuous closure of the independent Star radio has created a gap in the dissemination of factual news and information to Liberians in and outside of the country, as rural dwellers continue to feel being denied news and informative programs.
It is no doubt that Star radio is now needed more than ever in this point in time when Liberians are going to the polls this year. There has been reports from rural dwellers that they have little or no knowledge about activities leading to the electoral process that could pave the way for the successful conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in the country in October or November this year.
In profile Daily
'CDC Youth Differ With Weah on Tubman'
Over 500 youth of the Congress for Democratic Change, under the umbrella, Free, Thinkers of CDC, have angrily reacted to comments by Ambassador George Weah that CDC partisans must see Cllr. Winston Tubman like him.
In a statement issued in Monrovia this week, the group said, similar assertion was made by Weah during the 2005 elections wherein 10 out of 14 candidates who contested on the Party's ticket for the House of Representatives including two Senators were overwhelmingly elected by CDCians.
The CDC youths I the statement, dated July 18, 2011, and signed by their National Chairman, Morris A. Swen, stated that after the 2005 elections, host of the elected officials abandoned the party.
Anti Referendum campaign in Nimba
Citizens of Gbehyi Chiefdom, Wegbehyi Administrative District, in Nimba County have embarked on anti-referendum campaign in that part of the country.
They said their action aimed to boycotting the August 23, 2011 National Referendum has been warranted by the attachment of portion of their chiefdom to electoral districts in Nimba County by the National Election Commission.
Nomination of 2011 Candidates Begins
Ass NEC Gives PUL mandate To Accredit Journalists
Nomination of candidates for President and Vice President Senators and representatives for the 2011 general and presidential elections begin in the country today, according to the time table of the national Elections Commission.
Hundreds of candidates will between today and August 15 appear at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Complex in Paynesville to go through the process that will qualify them to stand as candidates or not in the forthcoming elections.
NEC Begins Roll Call
Presidential aspirants and their running mates as well as independent aspirants, including individuals vying for both Houses of the national legislature are expected to begin queuing up today, July 20, 2011 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville to submit basic requirements to the National Elections Commission that could qualify them to contest in the ensuing general and presidential elections.
According to NEC, the process runs daily, (July 20 -0 August 15, 2011 ) with each aspirant expected to make key submissions, including letter of Intent, Sworn Declaration or Affidavit attesting to the Liberian Citizenship, Sworn Declaration or Affidavit attesting to domicile, Tax Clearance candidate's Financials Disclosure Form and copy of a voters registration card, or birth certificate, passport among others.
The New Dawn
When voters head to the polls later this year, eyes will be set on a number of candidates but familiarity with the political turf is often a unique way of gauging how an election would end.
Despite the recent waves of supporters who greeted George Weah, Vice standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change, some political observers are convinced that the incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is still the candidate to beat.
In battleground Montserrado County, mini stadiums are propping up and once-idle youngster like Isaac Mahn have found a playing field to call home away from home.
Says Mahn "I think the Old Ma has done a lot of good things" referring to incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Opinion: Referendum 2011: Your Vote and the Magic Number
This is a call to Liberians not to participate in the so called 2011 Constitutional Referendum organized by the National Elections Commission (NEC). If however you have to participate in exercise of your right to vote, then I'm urging you to vote No on all of the four propositions submitted by the Government of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It is important for us to abstain from taking part or voting in the referendum for the following reasons. The Referendum is illegitimate, a flawed and premature process which does not represent the interest of the Liberian people.