LIBERIA: President Sirleaf’s Son, Robert Sirleaf Sues Her Government for Executive Order 65

Montserrado County senatorial candidate Robert Allen Sirleaf Friday sued the Liberian Government for the issuance of Executive Order 65, prohibiting political rallies throughout Monrovia in the wake of the Ebola crisis.

The state-owned Liberia News Agency, quoting a special statement Mr. Sirleaf issued in Monrovia late Friday, said his Campaign had “directed its lawyers to file a suit against the Government of Liberia on behalf of the people of Monrovia, and in his own name,” because Executive Order No. 65 is “discriminatory, punitive, and wrong.”

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed Executive Order No. 65 on December 3, 2014, and said it was intended to strengthen Government’s efforts to contain the spread of Ebola, protect the security of the State, maintain law and order, and promote peace and stability in the country.

She said the existing law requiring persons desiring to march or demonstrate to obtain prior permission from Government have proven ineffective to address rallies, parades and concerted mass movements on the streets of Monrovia and its environs.”

In his statement, Mr. Sirleaf, who is also a son of the President, said Executive Order 65 “seeks to undermine the ongoing democratic process by which the citizens would elect the individuals they believe to be qualified to represent their interests in the government for the next nine years.”

Mr. Sirleaf also referred to the Order as “discriminatory,” arguing that “it seeks out only the people of Monrovia for its enforcement when the issue it proposes to cure, which is the possible transmission of Ebola, is actually occurring throughout Liberia.”

According to Mr. Sirleaf, the Order “is clearly punitive because it punishes all the people of Monrovia, many of whom continue to respect and abide by the Ebola preventive procedures established by the government and its partners,” adding, “Obviously, these people do not need to be punished for observing the law.

The statement did not say which court the suit was filed in.



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