-Simeon Freeman Cites Election Risks
Onetime runaway political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has identified several issues he considers as bad signals for the holding of the highly anticipated 2017 general and presidential elections.
The bottlenecks and other bureaucracies that pose serious risks to the elections as noted by Mr. Simeon Freeman are the lack of fund to support the work of National Election Commission (NEC).
The NEC is yet to get half of the money budgeted for the holding of the elections, and according to the MPC, it is a major constraint that threatens the elections. Addressing a press conference Monday which centered specifically on the state of the economy, peace and reconciliation and security, he said government`s concentration on increasing tariffs especially on commodities during election year signal the impossibility of conducting the elections on the scheduled date.
Another issue he sees as threat to the election is the payment of taxes in local currency as opposed to foreign currency is an issue that continues to plague the already stretched-out economy of the country.
“All of these are distractions that are not favorable for our elections in this country,” the MPC political leader observed. The MPC tough-talking political leader said also that high cost of government`s expenditure was unfavorable to holding elections in the country.
More besides, he also cited the standoff between residents of 72nd Barracks (Camp Ramrod) and officials of the Ministry of Defense as potential threat to the holding of the elections in October 2017, though he did not spell out this impugns the holding of election.
“Squeezing money out of people during election year is worrisome. We must be at peace to have a peaceful transition. These are bad signals that are unhealthy for our democracy,” Mr. Freeman added.
Given the scenario of former President Samuel K. Doe who immensely contributed to building of the nation-state, Freeman said he is in support of individuals that are rallying call for a native Liberian to take over country after the tenure of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“This is the time for natives to take over is not a divisive statement as people claimed. This is a rallying call for country people to lead the country. It is not divisive, but it is a mobilization call, rallying call to communicate well and Senator Prince Johnson statement is a call to action,” the MPC political leader said.
On the 10-year residency clause, Mr. Freeman indicated that the party will ensure that it gets the best of the rest as the institution will do whatever it takes to bring to book people with citizenship problem.
Commenting on the allegation that the chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya is an American citizen that voted in 2008 that ushered President Barrack Obama to the White House, the MPC political leader said since any new appointment by the President to replace the current chair of the commission has to go through confirmation, Liberians need to structure themselves in a way to ensure that the elections are held because election issues border on peace and security.