Liberia-August 1, 2023: The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), has termed as ill-advised and counterproductive to good governance, the appointment of Atty. Garrison Yealue by the ruling CDC as its Deputy Campaign Manager for Administration.

Atty. Yealue is the current Chair of Governance Commission.

The Executive Director for CENTAL, Anderson Miamen told a major news conference Tuesday, August 1, 2023 in Monrovia that the appointment also contravenes the law of Liberia.

On July 28, 2023, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) through its National Chair, Mulbah Morlu named Atty. Yealue and others as key players for its national campaign team ahead of the October 10, 2023 elections.

However, CENTAL boss Miamen stressed that the Governance Commission has had a history of playing a very critical role in reviving the country’s democracy by promoting good governance and as such; its head cannot be actively involved in political activities.

According to him, the independence of the Commission is reinforced by Section 5.3.4, which states; “thus Commissioners must be non-partisan to prevent the governance agenda and process from being a political one”.

The CENTAL Boss further called on President George Weah and the CDC to remove Mr. Yealue from their campaign team, adding that the action sends a very bad signal to the public, development partners, and even staff of the institution who are supposed to be politically neutral.

He said this is not good for policy experts that are supposed to advise the national government on what independent and evidence-based policy directions the country should take.

Mr. Miamen noted that the sooner the Government and CDC reverse the decision, the better it will be for their reputation, the independence of the Commission, and the much-needed rebranding of the institution that has been largely dormant since 2018.

“The action of the CDC violates several provisions of the 2007 Act creating the Commission, which is required to be independent and politically neutral. Also, the decision violates the 2014 Code of Conduct for public officials and its amendment of 2022. This is an extremely troubling decision that should be immediately reversed, to avoid rendering the already dormant and underperforming GC unworthy of the trust and confidence of the public and development partners whose engagements and partnerships with the Commission are indispensable to her success,” the statement said.

Anderson Miamen also referenced Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that “all officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not engage in political activities… [or] serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate”.

He added, “We are, therefore, not only astonished by the latest decision of the Party, which undermines her own government’s anti-corruption and good governance agenda, but are also dismayed at the acceptance of the appointment by the said official. For a government underperforming at all levels on key governance indicators, especially Liberia’s 26 score and gross underperformance on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, it should endeavor to win the trust and confidence of the public and development partners. The latest decision of the party and government does not help such a cause. This is more than troubling, especially for the head of such an institution that should know better and lead by example”.

The CENTAL said in multiple posts and video on Facebook, Mr. Yealue can be seen/heard engaging in active campaign and or political activities in Nimba, in flagrant violation of the Act creating the institution.

He stressed that instead of the GC Boss rebranding and uplifting the Commission, its decline is increasingly evident, much to the disappointment of many, especially campaigners of good governance.

Miamen noted that if key development partners have been staying away from the Commission, the latest action of the government and CDC does little to salvage the situation, adding that instead of helping, it will further dampen the chances of the commission getting financial, technical, and other support from development organizations for any substantive work.

Meanwhile, as the country draws closer to the October 2023 elections, CENTAL urges all Liberians, especially ordinary citizens to thoroughly examine those who seek their votes for elective offices –President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative.

The ED, Anderson Miamen said anti-corruption and integrity should be the main qualities required of candidates/those seeking the support/votes of citizens.

“Corrupt and greedy politicians will dash your hopes when elected. So, be very careful who you trust with your precious votes during these elections. Support/Vote only for people who do not steal or have proven to have Integrity,” Mr. Miamen stressed.

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