19 May 2014

Liberia: Weah, Robert Sirleaf Face Uncertainty

The Code of Conduct recently passed and subsequently signed into law by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf may bar two influential aspirants for the impending October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

Political leader and peace ambassador, George Weah and Robert Sirleaf, ambassador to the Middle East have declared their respective interests to vie for the senate in Montserrado County.

But according to the Code of Conduct Law, every government official that has interest in contesting for elected office shall resign two years prior to election or forfeits the statutory right to contest.

Currently, Weah serves as ambassador of peace and reconciliation under the stewardship of President Sirleaf, while Robert Allen Sirleaf is Liberia's Special Envoy to Kuwait.

A group under the banner, Montserrado Redemption Squad recently announced support for Mr. Sirleaf, who is son of the President.

The Code of Conduct is strongly against government officials using state resources to campaign for elected posts at the expanse of taxpayers. It also set standards of behavior and conduct for public officials and employees of government.

"This Act may be cited as the Code of Conduct Act of 2013 is hereby enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature Assembled".

Part 2 Section: 2 of the law states that the Code of Conduct is applicable to all public officials and employees of the three branches of the Government of Liberia, and its parastatal bodies.

Section 1.3.1 further states that any reward or inducement paid to any public office and employee of government for doing or forbearing to do anything in respect of any matter or transaction within the scope of their duties or on account of favor given or to be given in the exercise of his or her official duties as "cold water" or "eating" will be considered as bribery.

"A person has committed bribery if: he or she directly or indirectly promises, offers, or gives to a public official or one who occupies any position of trust in any public or private, local or international organization or the general society, any undue advantage for the official or occupant of a position of trust or any other person or entity, in order that the official or person of that entity acts or refrains from acting in the exercise of his or her official duties, or in violation of the trust reposed in him or her."


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