Gd. Bassa Supt. Seeks Senatorial Seat
BUCHANAN-What appears to be a big political disarray has entered the body politics of Grand Bassa as key leaders of the county are being forced to follow what is being termed as ‘Party’s Mandate.’
Recently, Grand Bassa Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh was asked by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to forgo his quest of contesting the Representative seat of Grand Bassa District #2 and contest as a Senator in the upcoming elections.
The mandate according to the report goes across to all supporters of Pres. George Manneh Weah to straightly join the campaign boat to make the County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh Senator in October of this year.
Sadly, the lone CDC lawmaker, Rep. Matthew Joe who was the Campaign Manager for for Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley in 2020, will have to let go of Findley for Baikpeh due to Party’s mandate.
It has been gathered that Rep. Vincent Willie who has been a long-time ally to Senator Jonathan Kaipay might likely dump the closeness to support Baikpeh.
Willie won as Independent Candidate during the 2017 Elections but announced his support for the reelection bid of President George Manneh Weah, something that might lead him to end the long-term closeness with Kaipay.
A report gathered suggests that Baikpeh and Rep. Mary Karwor of Electoral District #2 have renewed their mother-and-son relationship by letting go of the District to capture Madam Karwor and Chief Zanzan Karwor’s support.
At the same time, several Elders, Town Chiefs, and Paramount Chiefs are gradually shifting their political gears toward Baikpeh as it has been speculated that they all have decided to support Baikpeh on party’s Mandate.
“The local government in Grand Bassa will ensure that Janjay Baikpeh is elected because he’s one of us”, an official of the local authority hinted. Though Baikpeh hasn’t left his post as Superintendent, he’s holding community engagements, something that goes against the Code of Conduct.
Section 5.2 of the amended law reduces the resignation period for officials with non-tenure positions from as high as two years to one year. The same applies to tenure employees who have to resign three years before their intended candidacy.
It can be recalled that President Weah mandated all appointed officials of the government aspiring to contest elective positions in the impending October 10, 2023, Presidential and Legislative Elections to resign on or before April 7, 2023.
The President’s order contained in Executive Order #117 issued on March 14, is consistent with amended Sections 5.2 and 10.2 of the 2014 Code of Conduct enacted, approved, and printed in handbills on December 29, 2022.
Weah acknowledges that the Code of Conduct intends to stop public officials from using state resources to contest elections.
Reminding appointed public officials, the President’s executive order states, “The Act provides that all officials appointed by the President including all Cabinet Ministers, Deputy and Assistant Cabinet Ministers, Ambassadors, Ministers Consuls, Superintendents of counties and other government officials, both military and civilian, appointed by the President pursuant to Article 56(a) of the 1986 Constitution, and any Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, Assistant Managing Director of corporation owned by the Government of Liberia, any Commissioner.
The Act also provides that Deputy and Assistant Commissioner of any commission established by the Legislature, and any official of the Government who negotiates and executes contracts, procures goods and services, and/or manages assets for and on behalf of the Government of Liberia, who desires to canvass or contest for an elective public office within the Government of Liberia shall resign his or her position one (1) year before the date on which the election for the post for which he/she intends to contest.”
The Liberian Chief Executive, however, acknowledged that with about seven months to the conduct of elections on October 10, 2023, the amended Act can’t prevent public officials from contesting in said elections.
According to him, the government still has a compelling interest to create what he calls “a level plain political field to prevent Liberia’s competitive politics from unfair and undue advantages.”
The Constitution vests the President’s Executive Power to issue Executive Orders in the public interest, either to meet an emergency or to correct situations that can’t wait for the lengthy legislative process.
A favor Baikpeh still enjoys while working on his Senatorial quest.