By Alex Yomah
The political leaders of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) have vowed to support restorative justice over retributive justice if any of their parties were to be elected to lead Liberia following the 2017 presidential elections.
In a 2017 presidential debate recorded which is being been aired on several radio stations recently, Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) said he believes Liberians should focus on the reconciling their future than calling for the establishment of a War Crimes Court which he thinks has the tendency to take the country backward.
“Yes, we have to acknowledge the pains and the hurts caused on our country; we should not tolerate any impunity but also we cannot focus on retributive because it will divide us as nation. It will have us looking backward than thinking about developing our country. And so, as a President, I would have convened a national conference to address the issue of reconciliation,” Cummings declared.
While the Liberty Party which former political leader, the late Charles Walker Brumskine supported the palava hut meeting approach stating, “The report has two paradox approaches, one is retributive justice and my take is to reconcile our people, rebuild our country and move this country forward. I think we should adopt the palava hut approach.”
The Unity Party’s political leader, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, described Liberians as peaceful people and said President, he would rather open the economy where the citizens will be involved in the rebuilding process of the economy which according to him, will help drive away the pains and agony for such court.
Contrary to the above, the All Liberian Party’s (ALP) political leader, Benoni Urey, questioned the Truth and Reconciliation and said, he would preferred the War Crimes Court for those accused to exonerate themselves but not under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Report noting that it was manipulated.
In other news, the opposition political parties have made several recommendations to government aimed at helping to curtail, if not prevent, the spread of coronavirus in the country.
According to the CPP, the government should work with international partners to get rapid testing and credible results at the airport and at all hospitals and that hospitals institute effective triage and screening procedures to distinguish between covid and other illnesses.
The CPP is also urging the government to ensure that over-crowdedness is reduced at the airport and all other public places including of work by directing that non-essential workers stay home while arrival, pick-up and departure areas be restricted for less congestion and improved coordination and that immediately reactivate all centers previously used for COVID with coordinated plans for monitoring and contact tracing.
In its statement signed by the political leader of the Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, the CPP proposed that contact tracing and testing in high hit communities and counties should commence immediately and that counties that are reporting cases should be locked down to counties that do not have cases to avoid the rapid spread of the virus nationwide
The opposition political parties further recommended that negotiations are made for more vaccines and that more vaccine centers be created with aggressive awareness and that the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Health crafts a public relations plan and use all the community radio stations in the country for awareness.
The CPP is also requesting that the Ministries of Health and Finance gives a comprehensive report on the US$75 collected from departing and arriving passengers and present a plan for the usage of the said funds while the Legislature reviews plan from the Ministry of Health and make quick interventions for appropriation in priority areas.
The statement signed by the CPP’s Chairperson is therefore calling on President George M. Weah to create a National Leadership Steering Committee that will bring together political, religious, traditional and community leaders, as well as leaders of the business community and private sector to provide broader national coordination, participation and a sense of shared ownership of the national crisis.
“This will also improve public confidence. If there is a time to come together for our country and our people, the time is now! We urge the President to show leadership,” the opposition political parties stated.
“We Do Not Tolerate Impunity, But…” CPP’s Position On War Crimes Court; Calls For Nat’l Leadership Steering Committee To Fight Covid
By Alex Yomah