Simeon Freeman Wants Liberia WHO Certified Ebola Free Before Elections

first_imgThe political leader of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Mr. Simeon Freeman, says Liberia should be certified Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO) before the National Elections Commission (NEC) can conduct the Special Senatorial Elections.Speaking over the weekend in Monrovia, the MPC former standard bearer said it was a shame that the government decided to close schools and other activities because of the Ebola disease and then wants to conduct elections that would put more lives at risk. He stressed that the elections should only be held after WHO has declared Liberia Ebola free.Mr. Freeman, acknowledging that the disease has caused hardship for most Liberians, said he is worried that most children might not be able to get back to school immediately because many of the companies that their parents worked for folded and left the country due to the virus outbreak.“They have no certainty that even when schools open in February or March, paying tuition is going to be possible. They are victims of something they know nothing about and we need to be concerned about that as a country and people and not the holding of elections at this time,” he stated.    “We share, care and have never been a country that while experiencing difficulties, we go about celebrating as we are trying to do in holding elections for a few people to be glorified. That is not Liberia and the type of political leadership that Liberia needs,” said Mr. Freeman.The MPC political leader said he would only spend his resources on a Liberia that he knows to have respect for the people.Mr. Freeman said it should be remembered that Liberians are still in tears due to the hardships and thousands of deaths caused by the Ebola virus and holding an election to satisfy a few individuals was a grave concern that needed to be discussed by people who are to benefit from the election.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Calls for Wolfowitz ouster run deep

first_imgWASHINGTON – When President George W. Bush appointed Paul D. Wolfowitz as the president of the World Bank two years ago, the White House had to put down an insurrection among European nations that viewed the administration’s best-known neoconservative as a symbol of American unilateralism and arrogance. For a while, Wolfowitz seemed to defuse those fears, even taking on the Bush administration over how best to aid the poorest nations of Africa. But now it is clear that the chorus of calls in recent days for Wolfowitz’s ouster is only partially about his involvement in setting up a comfortable job, with a big pay raise, for a bank officer who is Wolfowitz’s companion. At its core, the fight about whether Wolfowitz should stay on at the bank is a debate about Bush and his tumultuous relationship with the rest of the world, particularly the bank, the United Nations, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which have viewed themselves – at various moments since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – as being at war with the Bush White House and its agenda. As finance ministers gathered in Washington on Friday for the bank’s weekend meeting, Wolfowitz worked behind the scenes, seeking support for keeping his job. But there were few endorsements of his leadership beyond those offered by the Bush administration. In foreign capitals, and among the bank’s staff, it has been noted that Wolfowitz’s passion for fighting corruption, which he has said saps economic life from the world’s poorest nations, seemed to evaporate when it came to reviewing lending to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, three countries that the United States considers strategically vital. It was also noted that Wolfowitz relied most heavily not on experts in international development, but on a pair of aides who served with him at the Pentagon. Such decisions have contributed to what Nancy Birdsall, the president of the Center for Global Development, a group that monitors aid to the world’s poorest nations, described as “real doubts about Wolfowitz’s judgment.” Foreign officials on the bank’s board say they came to regard Wolfowitz’s approach as mirroring the Bush administration’s missteps. Wolfowitz came to the bank with heavy political baggage. By tradition since the bank was set up at the end of World War II, its president has always been an American, a fact that has engendered increasing resentment over time. That reaction was compounded when Bush selected Wolfowitz, who had served as deputy secretary of defense and an architect of the Iraq war. “It took a huge amount of effort to quiet this down,” a member of the bank’s Board of Governors and an early supporter of Wolfowitz, recalled Friday of the early insurrection. “And you would think, knowing that he was going into an institution that was deeply suspicious of him and the Bush administration, that he would have done everything he could to allay those concerns.” At first, Wolfowitz did so. He made Africa his first priority. He displayed a passion and energy for the work – much as he did as ambassador to Indonesia many years ago, where he immersed himself in the culture and took on a dictator, Suharto. Wolfowitz’s campaign against corruption was intellectually unassailable and quintessentially American, and he was certainly right as far as the facts were concerned, members of the bank’s staff and leadership say. But eventually his focus on that issue put him at odds with career officials at an institution that is famously resistant to outside influence, and which believes that fighting poverty has to come first, even if that means dealing with countries whose leaders are not above skimming a few millions of dollars along the way.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more