FEDEC Calls for Good Governance in Liberia

The Perspective

Posted March 12, 2002

Editor's Note: A Liberian democratic pressure group, Forum for Civic Education and Democratic Empowerment (FEDEC), based in Accra, Ghana, has called for dialogue between the Liberian government and LURD to end the hostilities in Northwestern Liberia, the restructuring of the Liberian Elections Commission, and urged Liberians both at home and in the Diaspora to intensify their struggle for good governance in Liberia. Find below the full text of the press release sent to this newsmagazine:

The Forum for Civic Education and Democratic Empowerment (FEDEC), a non-partisan and non-profit but a political pressure group set up by Liberian political watchers in Ghana, has followed with keen interest the 1997 general elections in which Mr. Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) was declared winner of the Presidency thereby ending the Liberian civil war. Following this move towards lasting peace and national reconciliation, Liberians had anticipated a new nation free of oppression, tyranny, injustice, ruthlessness, corruption and insecurity.

Contrarily, however, the nation of Liberia continues to face an uncertain future on account that the government ignores the need for national reconciliation to the effect that an administration inclusive of former warring factions and political parties highly potent in the partnership of nation-building is unperceivable. As a result, the tendency of good governance is undermined so much so that opinions that differ from that of the leadership are found to be antagonistic and therefore ignored.

Also, it is now obvious that the first postwar administration has little remedy to the problem of security and protection of the individual to the extent that the rate of crime and cases of harassment continue to impede resettlement and rehabilitation. Unscrupulous units of the less-supervised State security intimidate the people with impunity. Furthermore, the regime willfully undermines the rule of law to the detriment of an independent judiciary to the extreme that arbitrary arrests and confinements are order of legal dispensation of the government.

While civilized and democratic nations encourage freedom of speech and a critical press, the administration repeatedly strangles these nation-building partners with the constant closures of newspapers and broadcasting stations coupled with the unwarranted detention of journalists that are vocal of the regime.

It is also disappointing that bold steps have not been taken to draw up a vibrant and realistic economic policy and strategy upon which the natural resources might wisely be tapped, unemployment trends reversed, infrastructure refurbished, educational and socio-cultural centers restored.

Diplomatically, since the inception of the Taylor-administration, concrete bilateral and multilateral relations with Liberia and nations of the world have not been adequately fostered to the point that the country remains internationally isolated. Regrettably, the nation suffers the isolation at the time that international cooperation and support are highly needed.

The setbacks of the regime as recounted, not only undermine the pro-active democratic principles the nation of Liberia yearns for, but also dampen the creative spirit and ingenuity with which Liberians and their partners wait to begin building a new nation.

Therefore, we at the FEDEC, dedicated to the promotion of democracy and good governance in Liberia, resolutely:

Respectfully submitted by

Daniel Kumeh (General Secretary)

T. Wilson Gaye (National Coordinator)

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