By: Laymah Kollie
Monrovia -September 15,2023-: Several Presidential Candidates in the October 10, 2023 have overwhelmingly committed to fighting corruption in Liberia if elected.
Those candidates include: Cllr. Luther N Yorfee, Standard Bearer Liberia Rebuilding Party, Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti Standard Bearer of African Liberation League, Mr. Simeon Freeman of Movement for Progressive Change and Tiawan Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party.
In the view of Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti, tackling corruption begins with public officials declaring their asserts prior to assuming public office, which she stressed her administration will do. She pointed out that anoyone found in violation of the law will face the law.
“If I’m elected president tomorrow, there will be no impunity as it relates to corruption. Anyone in my administration who’s found guilty will be fire” Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti said.
For Presidential Candidate Simeon Freeman, political will and the execution of free fair trial in the judiciary are major ways to alleviate corruption.
“Appointment in judicial system, Once we have independent people running this there will be fair trial. Asset declaration you can alleviate corruption. Look at the process and not outcome” Mr. Simeon Freeman stressed.
Furthermore, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe believes the imposition of fines on violators as well as granting them a jail term are best ways to curtail corruption in Liberia.
“Impose straight fines to people against the law, jail term, make corruption non-bailable,” Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe noted.
Also speaking, Cllr. Luther Yorfee like Freeman, thinks political will plays a major role in tackling corruption as such, his government will highly support the fight against corruption.
The presidential candidates commitment comes following a day long Anti-corruption dialogue organized by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL). The activity, supported by the Swedish Embassy in Liberia and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), seeks to ensure candidates commitment to ensuring the fight against corruption if elected President of the Republic of Liberia. The Anti-Corruption dialogue also aimed to promote harmony amongst Presidential Candidates, contribute to an issue -focused election by highlighting issues of corruption and governance, foster constructive candidate -voter engagement to understand candidates’ plans to tackle corruption and bad governance and to gauge candidates’ commitment to fight corruption and promote integrity.
Providing an insight of the activity, Madam Akiah P. Glay, Gender and Inclusion Officer at CENTAL highlighted the importance of dialogues between leaders in these critical time of the nation to creating a road map that would effectively address issues of corruption.
“We are all aware that Liberia is face with many challenges and corruption and mismanagement of the country resources have largely contributed to the underdevelopment and even conflict in Liberia which we are all aware. With good governance and significant strives can certainly be made against corruption. And we also are aware that we will be going to the poll soon and we are at the critical road of our democracy, citizens across the country are getting ready, so to ensure a post election integrity and anti corruption road map, this is effective in adequately and satisfy to address the issue concerning corruption in Liberia.”
She stressed the promotion of dialogue and harmony amongst Presidential Candidates, their contribution to a focus election and plans to tackle corruption.
“And the purpose of this dialogue is to promote dialogue and harmony amongst presidential candidates and to contribute to an issue focus election by highlighting issues of corruption and candidates plan to tackle corruption and to get candidate’s commitment to promote integrity”
Meanwhile, the dialogue brought together stakeholders, ordinary citizens, religious community amongst others.
The Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL) is a civil society organization and national chapter of Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption with chapters and networks in more than 120 countries worldwide. Since 2004, CENTAL has led and sustained active civil society engagement with integrity building and anti-corruption efforts in Liberia.