Opposition MOVEE Defies Supreme Court On Code Of Conduct

Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr, National Chairman, MOVEE

Addressing a press statement at a well attended press conference, the National Chairman of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., challenged the Supreme Court of Liberia on its recent judgement rendered in favour of the Code of Conduct.

Read below full text of the MOVEE press statement:

TOPIC: DR. J. MILLS JONES WILL BE ON THE BALLOT IN OCTOBER 2017.

RESPONSE OF THE MOVEMENT FOR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (MOVEE)TO THE MISINFORMATION BEING SPREAD IN SOME QUARTERS THAT THE MARCH 3, 2017 RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT OF LIBERIA ON THE CODE OF CONDUCT AFFECTS THEPRESIDENTIAL BID OF DR. J. MILLS JONES, POLITICAL LEADER AND STANDARD BEARER OF MOVEE

Since the passage into law of the Code of Conduct, some politicians and their surrogates have been trying very hard to tie in the Former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and Standard Bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. J. Mills Jones to said Code of Conduct. The detractors are insinuating that the Political Leader and Standard Bearer of MOVEE will be stopped from contesting the Presidency of Liberia in the ensuing Presidential elections in October 2017 as a result of the March 3, 2017 Supreme Court ruling on the Code of Conduct.

This is the second time that political cowards have spewed selfish and unfounded information about Dr. Jones; in relation to rulings of the Supreme Court on the Code of Conduct. It can be recalled that when the Supreme Court of Liberia came down with its ruling in the case relative to the Code of Conduct filed by the Citizens Solidarity Council, some politicians and their surrogates came out with deliberate misinformation to the public on said ruling that the Presidential bid of the Political Leader and Standard Bearer of MOVEE was ended by such ruling. At that time, MOVEE informed its members, supporters and well wishers of Dr. Jones that such misleading information was far from the truth, reassuring them that Dr. Jones will definitely contest for the Liberian Presidency in October 2017. The Citizens Solidarity Council also commendably released a position statement clarifying.

The Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) wants to make it unequivocally clear that at no time did its Political Leader and Standard Bearer, Dr. J. Mills Jones challenge this Code of Conduct at the Supreme Court or any other court in the Republic of Liberia for that matter, the fact being that Dr. Jones has no reason to do so as he is in no violation of such Code of Conduct. According to Part V: Political Participation of the Code of Conduct and I quote:
PART V: POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

5.1 All Officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not:
a)    engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices;
b)    use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities;
c)    serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.
5.2 Wherein, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 herein above, desires to canvass or contest for an elective public position, the following shall apply;
a)    Any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections;
b)    Any other official appointed by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three (3) years prior to the date of such public elections;

c)    However, in the case of impeachment, death, resignation or disability of an elected official, any official listed above, desirous of canvassing or contesting to fill such position must resign said position within thirty days following the declaration by the National Elections Commission of the vacancy.

Unquote, Note the word ‘desire to contest for public elective office’. What then is a “Desire”?Desire means Wish, Want, Longing, Craving, Yearning, Need, Aspiration, Plea, just to mention a few. Furthermore; A Desire is an expression.

In other words, a desire can only be made known by an individual yearning, longing, aspiring.  This is why we are saying with emphasis that Dr. Jones has never at any point in time when he served as Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and even after his tenure of service at the Central Bank of Liberia expressed his desire to contest for any public elective office.

It is very important to stress that whether or not the Code of Conduct is constitutional, is immaterial to Dr. Jones. The fact is that after his invaluable and exemplary service at the Central Bank of Liberia as its Executive Governor, Dr. Jones got in the race today in response to the petition from the Liberian people.Dr.Jones decided to honor the request of the Liberian people who petitioned him.

Dr. J. Mills Jones granted the desire of his petitioners, and is indeed fulfilling the desire of his petitioners and large group of Liberians in towns and villages across the country as the Standard Bearer of MOVEE for the October 2017 General and Presidential Elections. Nowhere in the Code of Conduct does it say that any Liberian or group of Liberians can not request or petition a former public official to contest for a public elective office or that a former public official can not accept the petition of Liberians to contest after leaving public office.

The fact that some politicians and their collaborators who are afraid of facing Dr. Jones in the ensuing Liberian Presidential race out of fear of his enviable and matchless track record and popularity are spreading false, misleading and baseless information that thePresidential bid of Dr. Jones has been affected by the March 3, 2017 ruling of the Supreme Court of Liberia on the Code of Conduct confirms the concern and opinion of the public that the intent of the Code of Conduct has always been to witch – haunt Dr. J. Mills Jones.

This Code of Conduct is not just about public officials resigning to run for elective offices, but about a number of other ethical related issues, nepotism for instance. This is what the Code of Conduct says about nepotism and I quote:

Section9.7 : Nepotism: A Public Official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in a civilian or military position in the agency or branch of Government in which he or she is serving or have jurisdiction or control, any individual who is a Relative, as defined in Section 1.3.21 of this Code.

An individual who is a Relative of a Public Official may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a military or civilian position in an agency or branch of Government if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been influenced or advocated by the Public Official. Any such appointment upon investigation shall be declared null and void.

Upon being declared guilty in accordance with due process, the appointing authority shall be subject to dismissal, suspension or impeachment in accordance with due process.

Unquote, unlike Dr. Jones, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her Administration in broad day light, without the least of remorse continues to blatantly violate the Code of Conduct in many aspects. For instance, President Sirleaf has unrestrainedly flooded this Government with her Children, cronies and family members in high and strategic positions. Isn’t this a glaring violation of the Code of Conduct that warrants the impeachment of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as enshrined in Section  9.7 of the Code of Conduct.

It is openly known that certain public officials have long since up to present been using public resources available to them to promote their political ambitions. Where is the Code of Conduct on these? You don’t hear much about these – nepotism, certain Government Officials using Liberian Tax payers resources to promote their political activities and many others known to the public and you – the media, but only spending time and effort to wrongly draw Dr. Jones into the rulings of the Supreme Court when Dr. Jones has not been involved with any case at the Supreme Court or any other court for that matter on the Code of Conduct and has no need or reason to do so because he – Dr. Jones has not broken anylaw; in relation to the October 2017 General and Presidential elections.

The Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) is hereby warning those politicians and their surrogates to immediately stop spreading false and misleading information about Dr. Jones. It is in the national interest that they must stop because they have not considered the unintended consequences of what they are doing.

This false and misleading information is being spread in a failed attempt to weaken and confuse the minds of the supporters and well wishers of Dr. Jones in and outside of Liberia for fear of competition; knowing that he – Dr. Jones is pursed to become the next President of the Republic of Liberia in line with the desire of the Liberian people as Liberians are convinced and continue to relentlessly express that Dr. Jones with his doable and enviable public service track record has the will, courage of his conviction, tenacity, maturity and relevant knowledge, expertise, experience and exposure needed to take Liberia out of its long years of underdevelopment and transform the lives of the Liberian people.

This campaign of false information being propagated by the detractors of Dr. Jones and the enemies of peace and progress in Liberia must stop because it is not only about Dr, Jones, this astute Statesman represents the wishes and aspirations of many Liberians at home and abroad. This campaign of false information against Dr. Jones out of scare tactics for selfish reasons must stop. We know of what happened from false information in Rwanda propagated by Radio Rwanda.This is how powerful the media is. We must be mindful of unintended consequences from the misinformation being spread about Dr. Jones on the ruling of the Supreme Court relative to the Code of Conduct.

The Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) believes in the conduct of a peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections; and more importantly, the general peace and stability of Liberia; and that Dr. J. Mills Jones will in no way be stopped from exhibiting his franchise or inalienable right to contest for any position of choice in Liberia; in this case, the Liberian Presidency come October 2017 as desired and petitioned by the Liberian people. Any attempt to stop Dr. Jones from contesting or running for the Presidency in the October 2017 elections, the Liberian people will not accept.

We call on all the County Chairmen, County Officials, other National Executive Committee Members, Partisans, related auxiliaries and supporters of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and well wishers and supporters of Dr. J. Mills Jones in and outside of Liberia to stay the course and remain focused as nothing has changed; Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, the Political Leader and Standard Bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) will certainly be on the ballot paper to contest for the Liberian Presidency in October 2017.

MOVEE believes in the holding of a peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in October 2017; and again; most importantly, the general peace and stability of our beloved Country -Liberia.This belief of MOVEE for the holding of a peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in October 2017 with the right of every Liberian Citizen being fully protected and upheld; and again; most importantly, the general peace and stability of our beloved Country.

Liberia being maintained is one that the Government of Liberia, Liberian Opinion Leaders, Religious Leaders, the Liberia Council of Churches, National Muslim Council of Liberia, Inter-Religious Council, Foreign Missions in Liberia, United States of America through its Embassy in Liberia, European Union through its Mission/Delegation in Liberia, African Union (AU) through its Mission in Liberia, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), other Members of  the International Community, Civil Society Organizations, the Liberia National Bar Association, Women Organizations, Youth Organizations, Student Organizations, Business Organizations and well meaning Liberians in general should encourage and promote in the National interest of Liberia.

This is the time to speak out, this is not the time to sit on the fence. We further call on the Government of Liberia to demonstrate its primary responsibility of protecting the rights of all of its citizens,  creating the enabling environment for the conduct of a peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections and ensuring/promoting the necessary conditions for maintaining the general peace and stability of our Beloved Country – Liberia.

You can not infringe on the rights of peaceful and law abiding Liberian Citizens for no just reason whatsoever and claim to be interested in peace and stability in our country; any attempt of such infringement may be met by the strongest of resistance from the Liberian people; don’t be fooled, times have changed; the Liberian people know better and will not accept it today; and will not accept it tomorrow. Those wishing to thread such path must abandon it and unconditionally abandon it now; it is absolutely not in the interest of our hard earned fragile peace and democracy which we are enjoying at the expense of the sweat, blood, lives and resources of thousands of Liberians and the international community.

We must not allow bad governance for selfish reasons to lead Liberia to such ugly past which came as a result of marginalization of some Liberians from the democratic process in our country, injustice, poverty, unequal distribution of the resources of our country, just to mention a few. Let us all say a resounding no to those who are promoting these ugly vices which caused Liberians and the International Community so much so that we don’t like to be reminded.

It is dangerous, distinguished members of the fourth estate to keep giving false and misleading information about the ruling of the Supreme Court of Liberia; insinuating that such ruling stops Dr. Jones from contesting the Liberian Presidency in October 2017 when that is not what the ruling states; especially so when Dr. Jones has never been involved with any case at the Supreme Court or any other Court for that matter regarding the Code of Conduct; and has never broken any provision of the law regarding these elections because his supporters and well wishers across the country who believe in him  who may not know that this is false  information could see him – Dr. Jones as being wrongly and unjustly treated and targeted.

In conclusion, the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) wants to make it unequivocally clear that Dr. J. Mills Jones, Political Leader and Standard Bearer of MOVEE will absolutely be on the ballot paper as a Presidential Candidate to contest in the October 2017 elections as he – Dr. Jones has not violated, and will not violate any part of the Constitution.

We therefore reiterate our call on all County Chairmen, County Officials, other National Executive Committee Members, Partisans, related auxiliaries and supporters of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and well wishers and supporters of Dr. J. Mills Jones in and outside of Liberia to continue with their activities in their communities, districts and counties across Liberia because Dr. Joseph Mills Jones will be on the ballot paper and run to be President of Liberia in October this year -2017.

As a matter of fact, we want to let all of you our members, supporters and well wishers know that this misinformation will not shake Dr. Jones and MOVEE, Dr. Jones is right now in the Southeastern part of Liberia doing MOVEE’s work, where he is being well received.

To all the County Chairmen, County Officials, other National Executive Committee Members, Partisans, related auxiliaries and supporters of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and well wishers and supporters of Dr. J. Mills Jones in and outside of Liberia, we appreciate you, we are very much proud of you as always for your unflinching practical support and commitment to Dr. Jones and the Liberian Orange Revolution for the economic empowerment and economic Freedom of Liberians.
Remember always, POVERTY IS NOT OUR DESTINY!, INDEED, POVERTY IS NOT OUR DESTINY!, ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF LIBERIANS IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME; IT IS A TIME THAT THE ORDINARY LIBERIANS, THE MARGINALIZED, THE DISAFFECTED AND VOICELESS WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE; IRRESPECTIVE OF STATUS AND PLACE TO TAKE AWAY FROM THEM.
I THANK YOU.

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About Cholo Brooks 13180 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.