A Civil Society group, the Movement Against the Election of Representatives to the Senate of Liberia (MATERSEL) has urged Liberians to reject sitting Representative vowing for the senate in the pending December 8 Senatorial Election in the country.
The group through its chairperson, Richlue O. Burphy over the weekend stated that their calls to the citizenry is aimed to protect the country’s coffers and save the future from the embarrassment of ‘artificial by-elections after the pending December 8, senatorial elections.
According to Richlue, in as much as they acknowledged that, unlike the Code of Conduct that requires members of the executive branch of government to resign their appointed positions before contesting elections, there is no such law requiring representatives to resign before contesting in other elections, noting that they think it is inappropriate and has a huge financial burden on the state.
Richlue added that those sitting representatives that are currently contesting in the senate elections action have been identified as not only devilish, baroque, plethoric, and unconscionable but also has the propensity of giving rise to inferior judgment.
He further explained that those lawmakers, who have not yet ended their tenures, are engaging in a desperate political move that does not contribute towards the growth and development of the country, but will instead plunge the country into deficit through the usage of taxpayer’s money for the unnecessary purpose of conducting by-elections.
“As it stands, the economy of our country is already shattered and is resting in the abyss of despair. According to the WFP and the World Bank, more than two thirds of Liberian people are still languishing in abject poverty. Moreover, 1.3 million are living in extreme poverty with evidence that the situation is progressively worse,” the group chairperson pointed out.
Richlue alluded, “The aforementioned representatives are avoiding the reality of the economic situation of the country and attempting to ROB the little that should be directed to the struggling people, who as usual are always victims of their unfulfilled promises.”
He averred, “Of recent, there have been repeated uprisings and unrest in the motherland compounding to the pre-existing issues facing the people. To name but a few: Due to irregular salaries and lack of adequate resources, health workers laid down their equipment, just to signal out how they have been getting maltreated in the health sector.
“As you are aware, our health system plays a vital role which cannot be stressed enough, towards the existence of the citizenry. Without a good health sector, people will get sick and die, which is currently already happening. Tragically, the agriculture sector has retrogressed desperately. We cannot grow enough food to feed the nation, not even the staple food which is rice, instead we import more than 50% of the rice required for the nation and spend up to $100 million on rice imports,” Mr. Burphy cautioned.
“The education system is also suffering from regression in comparison to our peers in the sub-region. Our children who are incidentally the future leaders of this country are being cheated and robbed of their future. They are not being properly educated due of the low standards in the schools and the lack of priority given to the sector by our government. Lack of resources, properly qualified teachers, oversight of schools in the sector, government support for poorer children are just some of the many challenges faced in the sector,” he intoned.
Meanwhile, Richlue Burphy further disclosed that as it stands, over 17 sitting representatives are said to be contesting for the Senate in 13 counties in the pending December 8 Senatorial election.
Those lawmakers are: Thomas P. Fallah 5 Montserrado, Ivar K. Jones 2 Margibi, Ben A. Fofanna 4 Margibi, Prince Moye 2 Bong, Jeremiah K. Koung 1 Nimba, Vincent Willie 4 Grand Bassa, Isaac R. Blalu 3 Maryland, Edwin M. Snowe 1 Bomi, Nathaniel N. Bahway 1 Grand Kru and Mambu Sonnie 2 Grand Cape Mount counties.
Others are: Emmerson V. Kamara 3 Grand Cape Mount, Julie F. Wiah 2 Lofa, Mariamu B. Fofana 4 Lofa, Zoe E. Pennue 1 Grand Gedeh, George S. Boley 2 Grand Gedeh, Alfred G. Koiwood 1 Gbapolu and Francis S. Young 2 River Gee couinties.