Trucking and Busing: Undermine Free Government in Liberia

first_imgSince the inception of the voter registration exercise on February 1, 2017, there have been multiple complaints from applicants attending the process ranging from inadequate logistics, defective cameras; complaints of insufficient voter registration centers (VRCs) thereby causing potentials registrants to walk long distances to register; attempts by non-Liberians to register; busing and trucking of people from one district or county to another; incompetent registration personnel and poor contractual arrangements with registration workers; absence of security officers (LNP & BIN) at VRCs; alleged tribal and religious discrimination against certain applicants, etc.As a former chair of the National Elections Commission (NEC), who presided over the 2005 general elections, the above-listed complaints and/or issues raised are not strange to me, as we were similarly confronted with nearly all of them. The difference, however, between the 2005 process and the current process is in the handling and resolution of the misunderstanding or concerns. Considering that the nature of elections is adversarial and extremely competitive, the commission must exert every effort to address concerns of participants in a timely manner and in accordance with the relevant guidelines, regulations and laws. Election staff must apply the rules and laws neutrally in order to avoid the imputation of corrupt motives to them. The allegation of tribal and religious bias, for instance could have been obviated by posting at each VRC the criteria for eligibility to register. Beyond all the issues and concerns raised, however, the phenomenon which is of paramount concern to me is the trucking and busing of people from one locality to another which I called “contract voters”. This practice is becoming or has become a part of the Liberian electoral culture. The practice does not only distort true democratic elections, the essence of which is the expression of the free will of the electorate in choosing their leaders, but the practice also constrains an impoverished and vulnerable people to surrender their free will to the richest or wealthiest politicians in exchange of a bag of rice, US$5.00, US$10.00 or US$20.00. Thus, the realization of the promise contained in Article I of the Liberian Constitution which states, inter alia, ‘All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require,” shall remain a mirage for a long time to come, because there can be no free government without a free people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgFanad Lighthouse.Fanad Lighthouse is to receive a further €299,000 in funding from the Government.Fine Gael Minister of State Joe McHugh TD has welcome the news.The announcement was made today by the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD. Minister McHugh said “As I outlined recently, while attending the Great Lighthouses of Ireland event with Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe TD, Fanad Lighthouse is the Gateway to the Gaeltacht, not only in West Donegal and the Islands, but right down through Connemara and Co Cork. It is the first Gaeltacht point on the Wild Atlantic Way and plays a key role in promoting not just the Irish language, but our history and our culture.“I have also been liaising with both the Dept and Failte Ireland regarding Malin Head, which is another Signature Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and a key tourism attraction in the area. I understand that plans for the site are currently under review and once feedback has been relayed, Failte Ireland hope to progress the project.”He added that this is another example of community efforts resulting in positive projects happening in Donegal.“We recently had the Mulroy Drive launch of Ireland’s first sub-route to Wild Atlantic Way and the impressive work being done by Kerrykeel’s Tidy Town community volunteers. “We also received the green light this week from the Office of Public Works for a tourism initiative for Doe Castle and both DLDC and Moving Mevagh Forward are taking a lead role, as well as a TUS representative facilitating tours of the Castle throughout the day.”He also recently welcomed confirmation that both Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta are to financially support the Fanad Lighthouse Company in their goal to become a leading tourism centre.“This is a clear result of the local community and organisations, working together to ensure that our natural landscape, historical and heritage landmarks are as important now as ever and we are ensuring this continues for future generations.“I would like to acknowledge all the hard work by the Fanad Lighthouse Company over the last number of years towards the development at the lighthouse, and I would like to thank Failte Ireland on securing this much needed funding.”The news has also been welcomed by Deputy Dinny McGinley. ALMOST €300,000 IN FUNDING GIVEN TO FANAD LIGHTHOUSE DEVELOPMENT was last modified: July 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfanad lighthousefundinglast_img read more