Liberia: Foreign Minister Resigns

Liberia's Foreign Minister, Gbezohngar Findley has tendered in his resignation to enable him contest in the upcoming mid-term senatorial elections in his home county, Grand Bassa, a circular to Liberia's foreign mission said.

Findley who was once a senator and president Pro-tempore of the Liberian senate during the regime of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lost his seat to Jonathan Lambort Kaipay of the opposition Liberty Party in 2015. It is in line with the code of conduct.

His letter sent to president Weah late this month, was later followed by a circular sent to all of Liberia's diplomatic missions informing them of his desire to resign.

Flash back

Part of it states: "I present my compliment and wish to advise that I shall be leaving my post as Minister of Foreign Affairs as of July 27, 2020. I want to thank you and your staff for the kind consideration and support given me during my tour of duty as we worked in the interest of our beloved country. I trust that you will lend similar support and cooperation to my successor. I wish you continued success in you endeavor to make a positive showing of our country to the world."

President Weah told his officials in a circular last year that anyone wishing to contest in elections should resign in keeping with article 56 of Liberian constitution. It says pursuant to Article 56 of the Liberian Constitution and all civil servant covered by the Code of Conduct (COC) are directed to adhere to the stipulation of the COC regarding requirement for public officials ahead of the 2020 mid-term elections.

"As you are aware, chapter 5.2 of the Code of Conduct, which intent was addressed by the Honorable Supreme Court prior to 2017 elections prescribe that anyone intending to contest for political office shall not continue to hold on to said office.

"Therefore, all officials and civil servants covered by this category are hereby required to resign their position within 30 days of the insurance of the Presidential Memo," the memo stated.

Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that all officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not:

a) Engage in political activities, canvass or the head of contest for elected offices;

b) Use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities; c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.

Also, in 5.2 of the COC states that, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 herein above, desires to canvass or contest for an elective public position, the following shall apply;

a) Any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections;

b) Any other official appointed by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three (3) years prior to the date of such public elections. Similar step was executed by Augustine Gahfuan, former Foreign Minister of Liberia during the regime of madam Sirleaf.

It is not known who will replace him.

NEWS REPORTER

Alphonso Toweh

Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.

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