Heritage (Monrovia)

Liberia: Sen. Ballout - Ellen Frustrating Up Partisans

Maryland County Senator and a stalwart of the governing Unity Party (UP), John Ballout, has asserted that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is frustrating a lot of UP partisans. Said Senator Ballout: "Her [President Johnson-Sirleaf] inactions in favor of the party [UP] and the strengthening of the party is frustrating a lot of the partisans."

According to him, President Johnson-Sirleaf, who is the standard bearer and first partisan of the UP, has also frustrated a lot of auxiliaries that supported the ruling party, adding that the Liberian leader's inactions have led to her frustrating a lot of her friends, whom he says, helped Madam Johnson-Sirleaf to fight for change in Liberia.

He made these assertions Wednesday, 14 November 2012, when he phoned in to the state-owned radio run talk show, the Super Morning Show. Speaking further, UP stalwart said: "To not tell the truth to your friend is to betray your friend. As much as I respect her [President Johnson-Sirleaf] and as much as I support her, campaigned for her in the full front two successive terms, and continue to give her my fullest support, I am under obligation to be honest to her where she is going wrong."

However, he clarified that his assertions were not as a result of personal differences between him and the Liberian President, indicating that he is not opposing the President-"I can say to you today by any standards and measures Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf happens to be the most progressive president we've seen in contemporary Liberia."

He averred that the Liberian leader is his role model, stating that "she is that person who has earned the greatest respect from me. It is because of her that I entered politics. She is the one I've followed." But the Maryland County lawmaker recalled that since 2005, the UP has been neglected by President Johnson-Sirleaf.

Listen to him: "The President tried to govern this country entirely on her own. I condemned it then, and I condemn now, and I refuse to accept it from this point onwards." The Maryland lawmaker further noted that it was his thinking that democracy calls for the participation and inclusion of the political institution, saying it must be understood that political parties are the mother institutions that all partisans belong to, and submit to, regardless of being the standard bearer or the least individual in any given political party.

When a political party wins state power, he pointed out, it is proper that said party administers the affairs of government.

But in the case of the UP, he claims the party Standard Bearer, President Johnson-Sirleaf, has not given the ruling party the space to share in the governance process of the country. "This is betraying the pact, it is betraying the agreement, the memorandum of understanding that has this union and this spirit of partisanship."

FLASHBACK: Unity Party partisans express frustration to pressmen

"This is wrong; I have said this to the standard bearer many times. When we have elections and you have thousands of partisans, sympathizers and other political institutions the party made arrangement with, we are under obligation to respect those engagements, we are under obligation to create a space that we'll share in the governance of this country, but if it is not done that way, you undermine the party, you weaken the party, you destroy the party," said Senator Ballout.

Additionally, the Maryland County Senator averred that failure on the part of the UP standard bearer to honor such arrangements will result to destroying the chances of the party winning the next election, adding that: "It happened 2005, the party accepted it, but there is a limit to everything, and I say that limit has come, and that time is now."

"We've spoken this clearly, and it must be made very clear; the standard bearer submits to the party, every member of the party submits to the party. The government is not for the Standard Bearer, the government is for the party. The party directs the standard Bearer what to do with the government that the party has won in the election that the party participated in," the Maryland County lawmaker among others stated.

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