FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

29 July 2014

Liberia: Cancel Liberia October Election, Says Opposition, Simeon Freeman

Monrovia — Opposition politician Mr. Simeon Freeman, the political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has recommended that the Liberian government cancel the pending Special Senatorial Election and use the funds to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Mr. Freeman suggested that the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government come out with a short-term mandate that will maintain the current senators for the next six months and use money intended to conduct election to invest in the country's health sector.

Said Freeman: "We need to spend some money to get additional machines and setup testing centers across the country. I am not sure how much these machines cost but

I am proposing as well that Madam Sirleaf and her government take an action on canceling the pending senatorial election.

Continued Freeman: "If we have to spend ten or fifteen million on the election, we can shut the election down and come up with a short-term mandate for the next six months for the current senators to remain in place and the money be used to invest heavily in health during this period by buying the needed gears for health workers and preventive mechanism. It wouldn't hurt if we declare a state of emergency so that we can drastically deal with the issue.

The MPC political leader also called for more incentives to be given to health workers who are sticking their lives on the line because according to him, smaller health centers are shutting down which could lead to a serious health crisis.

Freeman who is also a businessman believes that in the case of a health crisis, this could increase the number of deaths in Liberia and have serious consequences on trade and development and the overall growth of the country by scaring away investors.

The MPC political leader, one of Sirleaf's many critics, said: "This is no time for politicking. We must take the right action and show leadership at this time. My fellow citizens I am one person who has never believe that Madam Sirleaf has the capacity to lead but this has got nothing to do with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Ebola is real please, follow the preventive measures the government is giving."

Mr. Freeman also recommended the establishment of a civil society group that will include members of the religious community and opposition communities that will go into communities voluntarily and create the necessary Ebola awareness.

Freeman commended the Health ministry for the level of awareness undertaken about the outbreak of the Ebola virus and described the President special task force to fight Ebola as belated but necessary and requested that the Presidential taskforce be headed by people in his words that can be trusted because he sees President Sirleaf as someone who has credibility problem and cannot be trusted.

Asked if he would accept a position on the task if the President asks, in the wake of his recent decision to reject a nomination to serve on the board of the Grand Bassa Community College, Freeman said: "I want to set this straight I am not on record for refusing jobs from President Sirleaf. I am a principle-minded man, for working for the good of my people if I am appointed to serve in a position that will not help my people I will not go there."

Added Freeman: "If she said Mr. Freeman, chair Ebola task force I am going to be more than willing to do that but this goes beyond Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It is about the people I want to serve, this is a deadly disease that has taken the lives of high-profile health workers in our country. We need to get serious, we are hoping we can be heard at least this time so that we can move away from this current challenge that we faced."

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