Fetsum: Liberia’s Scientific journey to Democracy

Fetsum: Liberia’s Scientific journey to Democracy Acknowledgement: I thank the ASSENNA family for its relentless service of the Eritrean people and giving me the chance to communicate with the people without a problem. Testimony: Human experience and concept of

Fetsum: Liberia’s Scientific journey to Democracy

Acknowledgement: I thank the ASSENNA family for its relentless service of the Eritrean people and giving me the chance to communicate with the people without a problem.

Testimony: Human experience and concept of existence are as diversified as our finger prints and subjective rationale, only a minute element of reality that has no purpose for society unless it aligns with objective reality. Whatever I think as a person may dictate my life individually but it has no place in the cosmos and cannot help being destructive should it want to exclusively dictate society based on ego’s amplification of my personal standards beyond their universal values. Because knowledge and humility blend individual perceptions with the objective, while ignorance and arrogance diminish their spiritual value like in the life of that miserable loner in Adi Hallo. My thought of transition to democracy should then remain elusive unless it learns from other similar experiences before applied in the collective challenge on the ground. Please welcome Liberia’s transition to democracy in brief and involve to make a difference in Eritrea.

Background: The Liberian Civil war in the nineties was going on between the government of Liberia under dictator Charles Taylor (GOL) and two armed forces from the people; Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). The people won the war and changed the situation upside down.

“On August 18, 2003, GOL, LURD, MODEL and the Political Parties, met in Akosombo and Accra, Ghana, from 4 June, 2003 to 18th August 2003, to seek a negotiated settlement of the crisis in Liberia, within the framework of the ECOWAS (Economic Communities of West African Societies) Peace Process for Liberia.” They signed a peace agreement called the ACCRA ACCORD with international supervision (ECOWAS, the UN, AU, and the ICGL (The International Contact Group on Liberia)).

Comment: All this does not directly apply to our situation because we have no civil war in the country but the result was total cessation of hostilities between GOL, MODEL and LURD. They agreed restructuring the Armed Forces of Liberia under a new command structure with the help of the United States. Charles Taylor who ruled Liberia from August 2, 1997 till the time of the agreement was to resign from presidency on August 11, 2003.

Clearly, democratic process is universal in concept, although its application may slightly differ from society to society based on their realities. It starts by suppressing personal interests and desires in favor of sitting together, discussing, arguing and finally cutting a common political deal between the parties in question. Here, GOL,  MODEL, LURD and the political parties democratically found common grounds with their differences intact.

THE ACCRA ACCORD

1a.     With the exit of the President Charles Taylor of the Republic of Liberia, the GOL shall be headed by the Vice President for an interim period. 

  1. The Vice President shall assume the duties of the current President for a period not beyond 14th October 2003, whereupon the Transitional Government provided for in this Agreement shall be immediately installed.

Comment: Please pay attention that the Vice President of the time was given presidency power in singularity for only two months following Taylor’s resignation on 11 August 2003 until 14 October 2003. This is very important for us to compare and contrast with how they did it in Sudan which will be the next topic in line.

ARTICLE XXI

ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT (NTGL): October 14th 2003 – January 6th, 2006.

  1. Immediately upon the installation of the NTGL in Liberia, all cabinet Ministers, Deputy and Assistant Ministers, heads of autonomous agencies, commissions, heads of public corporations and State-owned enterprises of the current GOL shall be deemed to have resigned. This does not preclude re-appointment according to the appropriate provisions of this Agreement.
  2. The LURD, MODEL, and all irregular forces of the GOL shall cease to exist as military forces, upon completion of disarmament.
  3. There shall be no restriction on members of the LURD and MODEL to engage in national politics through the formation of political parties or otherwise, save and accept those restrictions imposed on all parties and associations by the relevant laws of Liberia.

Comment on (5): Our situation is not as complex since we only have one Army that should continue its duties with few adjustments. But this should apply to the few armed forces in my opinion.

As for (6), GOL (national armed forces), MODEL and LURD (collective armed resistance of the people), were representatives of the people from broader sense of the view. This was the reason they were allowed to involve in national politics like all other citizens of Liberia. But notice that there were restrictions for the political parties that also applied to the two groups in case they wanted to form political parties in the long run.

HEAD OF NTGL   

1)         The National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) shall be headed by a person to be called the Transitional Chairman. The Transitional Chairman shall be assisted by a Transitional Vice-Chairman.

  1. Selection of the Transitional Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be by consensus arising from a process of consultations undertaken by the accredited delegates and observers to the Peace Talks. 

The selection procedure is defined in Annex 2 to this Agreement. Candidates for the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Transitional Government of Liberia must meet the following criteria:

(e) Persons who possess demonstrated leadership skills and a record of achievement in the private or public sector.

 (g) Nominees for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker must be endorsed by a minimum of six (6) members of the Assembly.

(h) No member of the Assembly shall endorse more than one candidate for any of the two offices.

Comment: You can google and see the qualifications (a-d) but qualification in (e) suggests that the position was available for any private/public figure in the life of the society while (g and h) indicating the democratic procedure of that specific process in question.

  1. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman, as well as all principal Cabinet Ministers within the NTGL shall not contest for any elective office during the 2005 elections to be held in Liberia.

Comment: None of the NTGL members was allowed to run for political office in the democratic election scheduled for 2005 to avoid conflict of interest by the political parties vis-à-vis the people. This clause guaranteed the NEUTRALITY of the government whose sole purpose was to run the country during the transitional period and move on after democratic election.

ARTICLE XXIII: STRUCTURE OF THE NTGL

The NTGL shall consist of three branches, namely:

(i) The National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA);(ii) The Executive; (iii) The Judiciary.

ARTICLE XXIV: THE NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (NTLA)

  1. The NTLA shall have a maximum of seventy-six (76) members who shall come from the following entities:

(a) Each of the fifteen (15) Counties;

(b) The present Government of Liberia, the LURD, MODEL, the Political Parties, Civil Society and Interest Groups including the National Bar Association, the Liberian Business Organizations, Women Organizations, Trade Unions, Teachers Union, Refugees, the Liberians in the Diaspora/America and the Youth.

The formula for the composition of the NTLA shall be as follows:  GOL 12 seats; LURD 12 seats; MODEL 12 seats; Political Parties 18 seats; Civil Society and Special Interest Groups 7 seats; Counties 15 seats.

Comment: This means the people had 58 or 76% of the sits in the house compared to 18 or 24% of the sits occupied by the political parties. The People’s power was assured in the legislative assembly as a result of this universal model of power distribution.

POWER TRANFER

Moses Blah, the old Vice President of Liberia was ultimately replaced by the elected Chairman of the NTGL. “He served as President for two months, until 14 October 2003, when a United Nations-backed transitional government, headed by Gyude Bryant, was sworn in.” The question is why?

ANSWER: “Charles Gyude Bryant was previously a businessman and was chosen as chairman because he was seen as politically neutral and therefore acceptable to each of the warring factions, which included LURD, (MODEL), and loyalists of former President Taylor.”

In this process, the Liberian people were able to achieve a neutral politician leading the transitional government (executive) using their majority leverage in the Assembly (legislative), meaning they secured a NEUTRAL TRANTIONAL GOVERNMENT that was to transform the society to genuine democracy. This experience teaches us that the people’s Assembly was the axis of people’s democracy; a prerequisite for the neutral government in question.

ARTICLE XXII: MANDATE OF THE NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA

  1. In addition to normal State functions, its mandate shall include the following:

(d) Contribution to the preparation and conduct of internationally supervised elections in October 2005, for the inauguration of an elected Government for Liberia in January 2006.

Comment: (d) implies that the INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION had to work hand in hand with international observers and conduct its duty based on  international rules. The other important aspect of the democratic process was the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the following rules applied to its performance overall.

POWER AND DUTIES [of NEC]

The law “states that the Commission, as an autonomous agency of Government, independent of any branch of the Government, shall have the following powers and duties [I have avoided few of the rights here for space and time]:

To administer and enforce all laws relative to the conduct of elections throughout the Republic of Liberia.

To give accreditation to, and register all political parties and independent candidates who meet the minimum registration requirement laid down by the Commission, by which authority they may exercise political franchise under relevant provision of the Constitution.”

Comment: Here, NEC had the authority to draft the minimum requirements for eligibility as a political party. This should apply in our situation because Eritrea cannot accommodate more than 10 political parties needless to say we cannot afford to have religiously and ethnically polarized political parties to run the heterogeneous  country.

Upon objections made by any person or group of persons, the Commission may reject, and if already registered, revoke the certificate of accreditation of said party or independent candidate, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia.

To revoke the registration and accreditation of an already legal party only upon the judicial determination of a court of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with due process.

Conduct all elections for elective public offices including the chieftaincy election and all referenda and declare the results thereof.

Formulate and enforce guidelines controlling the conduct of all elections.

Comment: NEC had the authority to completely manage the issues of political parties, their rights and obligations vis-à-vis the democratic elections ahead, to define legal and illegal political parties and accept or reject them based on the law and approval of the Supreme Court of Liberia, the classification being subject to the objective realities of the then Liberia.

In consultation with the appropriate local officials, appoint elections officers in the political sub-divisions of the country who shall perform their duties under the direction and supervision of the Commission and in accordance with the provisions of this little.

Prescribe the kinds of records to be kept by all political parties and independent candidates and their organizations and the manner in which they shall be kept.

Examine into and audit, or cause to be audited, the financial transactions of all political parties and independent candidates and their organizations by a chartered public accountant who shall not be member of any political party or the organization of any independent candidate.

To revoke the Certificate of Accreditation of any political party, alliance or coalition, or to impose a fine with respect to election offences committed by a natural person, according to the gravity or the offences committed.

Comment: This was a standard procedure in any transitional process. The political parties and independent candidates were required to keep their records (whether the leaders were democratically elected, number of their supporters, etc.) based on NEC’s specifications. NEC also had the power to only use NEUTRAL public accountants to acquire financial disclosures of all candidates in order to avoid corruption on top of its power to neutralize any political party that may break the laws imposed upon.

OUR VISION: The NEC will be a credible electoral authority managing public elections for the Liberian People in line with the laws of Liberia and international best practices.

Comment: NEC was structured to work in line with the country’s laws and international practices to fairly and transparently perform its duties (this is standard).

In conclusion, the Liberian people had to control the executive and legislative bodies to democratize their country through an independent electoral commission that sets the rule for the political parties who had to completely abide by for eligibility. The entire process was under the control of the people and surveillance of the world and it worked well. As a result, the people of Liberia today enjoy sustained democracy since Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf won the 2005 elections and took office in January 2006, succeeding Bryant. She won a second term through fair election in 2011 and George Weah was elected in 2017 as the second democratically president of the country. This type of smooth democratic process is not only important in Eritrea but a must within our reach. Everything is in our hands now and we can do it together to achieve genuine democracy forever. The people must understand their power through knowledge to own it in the transitional stage behind full support of international law and our extremely, extremely peaceful and obedient people.

Yeakil et al as a neutral organization of the people must understand the following issues to make sure the people own the ultimate power of the transitional government for us to succeed once and for all:

1)                  The Transitional Assembly of Eritrea must occupy 2/3 or 67% of the sits at minimum to produce sustainable democracy in the country.

2)                  The people must have a NEUTRAL executive body in the transitional government to succeed in this regard.

3)                  That (1) and (2) are the minimum requirements for the society to achieve an independent Electoral Commission that works hand in hand with the government bodies and international elements under local and international laws.

4)                  That the Electoral Commission has to have full power to manage the political parties from registration and qualification to suspending and disqualifying them based on its specifications. They will have to be legal based on the commission’s specifications and obey the rules to run for office during the democratic election.

5)                  That the entire transitional government officials cannot compete for political power in the democratic election to avoid conflict of interest with the people and stay NEUTRAL throughout the process.

6)                  The electoral commission must have the power to request financial exposure of the political parties through neutral public accountants only from the people.

Remember that Democracy is today very popular and practical in many third world countries. It has actually become the norm of modern political societies. Full Democracy is being experienced today in Liberia, Mauritius, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, Lesotho, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia while many others are following the trend including Kenya, Somalia, Gambia, Nigeria and the soon to be democratic Sudan and even probably Ethiopia as well. We have to claim full democracy by the book or death! No political groups should take us for a ride anymore and no fear and SIKIFTA to control the process by any means necessary, I mean any means necessary!! Every political group should be conditioned to respect the people and abide by its law and objective reality in this do or die situation. The people should exclusively set the clock for the political parties not the vise versa.

If Eritreans cannot handle working by the law, being  civilized members of the world and be in the top of the list after centuries of colonialism, waste and death, 30 years of struggle for independence and 28 years of dictatorship, case assured that there is something fundamentally wrong with the people and they deserve more division, suffering, dictatorship, war and displacement because “Every country has the government it deserves”. I don’t think we deserve a country unless we catch up with other African societies in this regard because we have no reason except conformism, opportunism, stupidity and rigidity to perform, otherwise. It is a choice we have to make and live with, without complaining. As for me, I will move on with peace of mind and complete acceptance of whatever comes after that miserable parasite in Adi Hallo who will soon be history because everything must pass! I would not have any reason to struggle for after this much effort into the matter if we fail making it this time, needless to say I don’t think I will identify with the society any longer. God forbid; I shall say to hell with toxic Eritrea, abandon everything and chill with my Voodoo in Katmandu with no regrets and worries till the time of my departure.

Stay strong and have the confidence and tenacity to make Eritrea one of the best democracies by simply staying NEUTRAL, aware, vigilant, succumbing to universal means of doing it and rejecting any other alternative by egoistic and greedy politicians in the camp. This is not the time to accommodate egos and political games but to assert the people’s power by snatching the podium and controlling the show by any means necessary. Please stay tuned to the Sudanese scientific style of transition to democracy and I shall complete my thesis probably with one more article and take a long break to manage my life with full concentration. Peace!

yakobe@gmail.com

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18 COMMENTS
  • k.tewolde November 20, 2019

    (“Every country has the government it deserves”.) >>> Fitsum,you must have the good herb from Kathmandu before you wrote this article,I am not letting you go brother,the good souls we left behind in shallow graves wont let you have peace and tranquility unless their mission is accomplished and the schizophrenic in adi halo is deposed and brought to justice along with his sadistic blood thirsty psychopaths. Remember, you wield one of the most lethal weapons to decapitate the monster which is stampeding our homeland beyond recognition,you got to go out swinging.’You can lead a horse to the water,but you can’t make it drink”……I feel you to the core,share some of the good stuff,please don’t go!!!! don’t go awaaaaay…..

  • Woldegabriel November 20, 2019

    Dear Fetsum,
    Knowledge is power!! I applaud you brother for your substantive and unrelenting contributions and commitment to educate the Eritrean people, particularly the youth to broaden their scope and meet the challenges ahead. Honesty, it is quite mind boggling to imagine how much time and effort you have put into it to consolidate and summarize such a huge document and present it to the readers. I hope Assenna should at least acknowledge your precious contribution. Thank you, brother.

    • Fetsum Abraham November 20, 2019

      Dear Welde;
      No need for acknowledgement here my brother and I don’t care about it a bit. I know I have been working very hard on our situation but that is where it stops without this or that! I hope I have been making a little difference here and there before I complete the journey believing I have done my best. I don’t need anything, any external input beyond influencing the people hoping they transit the society scientifically (universally). My image can dive to hell as long as I have my essence intact. Assenna posts my articles and I appreciate that. I don’t expect anything from them more than allowing me to communicate with you. HIZELUNI wey HANGRUNI is another thing, they are doing that my brother and I thank them for that!!

      But I know I could not do what I have been doing without full dedication at the expense of my comfort and a little help from my obsessive personality disorder! Enjoy!.

  • Fetsum Abraham November 20, 2019

    Please correct “The Transitional Assembly of Eritrea must occupy 2/3 or 67% of the sits at minimum to produce sustainable democracy in the country” with “the people must occupy 2/3 or 67% of the Assembly sits at minimum….” and I am sure you can handle my other mistakes as usual.

  • Fetsum Abraham November 20, 2019

    Brother K;
    Life is a relay that someone must give up for someone to finish. My commitment was to get at this political stage so that we can concentrate on the next challenge in the drama. Nothing matters to me except the transitional stage because that is the immediate challenge whose result will define Eritrea one way or another. The mustached dude is secondary to me because I know he is done!! I may have written about 500 articles in all but these topics are the most important to me and basically the end of what I had to say at the climax of the experience. My biggest purpose in this journey was exchanging the knowledge with my fellow Eritreans and moving on for others to finish the job unless the opportunity arrives without me hustling for it. I am sure we have highly skilled scientists that can do it better but I feel it is my responsibility to empower them through educating the youth on the matter.
    Once people understand what they have to do to democratize the country through scientific transitional effort, I will have to be done for good with no use in the deal except making noise like a miserable old man on a wife. I think that time has arrived my brother!

    You said “Fitsum, you must have the good herb from Kathmandu before you wrote this article, I am not letting you go brother”. We are permanently attached my brother and may even have few years left to know each other well in person. But I can not tell you what type of medication my voodoo will prescribe for me in Kathmandu except that I may have to take it for spiritual healing without resistance.

    (“Every country has the government it deserves”.) >>> Fitsum,you must have the good herb from Kathmandu before you wrote this article,I am not letting you go brother,the good souls we left behind in shallow graves wont let you have peace and tranquility unless their mission is accomplished and the schizophrenic in adi halo is deposed and brought to justice along with his sadistic blood thirsty psychopaths. Remember, you wield one of the most lethal weapons to decapitate the monster which is stampeding our homeland beyond recognition,you got to go out swinging.’You can lead a horse to the water,but you can’t make it drink”……I feel you to the core,share some of the good stuff,please don’t go!!!! don’t go awaaaaay…..

  • Fetsum Abraham November 22, 2019

    Dear Hagos;
    life is suffering everywhere including in Ethiopia not only in Eritrea. Every society goes through stages and makes it at last. to me, this is the beginning for Eritrea to start fresh after Isaias goes to hell. it is not over, not yet but it will be!!I understand your pessimism but the future is bright and the broken pieces will patch like in many other societies that went through dictatorship. Stay strong, freedom is just around the corner. Tnx

    • Asmara Eritrea November 23, 2019

      This is exciting and positive news. How long do you think before Isaias is decapitated and thrown to the dogs for lunch? Please say by 31 December 2019. We surely cannot have a monster terrorising our country in the New Year!

      God (wherever he is) has reserved a special place in hell for Isaias albeit a few degrees cooler than the place Hitler and other beasts find themselves in. If Isaias finds his special place a little too hot, I would be more than happy to piss and/or shit on him to help him breath a little and then increase the fire a little more so he burns for eternity. The mere thought of seeing Isaias in agony has just made my day.

      Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

      • Fetsum Abraham November 23, 2019

        Dear asmara;
        Isaias cannot make it any longer. he is done, did it for himself. we are at a stage where we are thinking and planning for life after the devil and will full confidence. this is preparation time for smooth ride to democracy. Do not worry about the current situation because it will be over soon. Do not associate the new year with his death and suffer the consequence of expectation. Just relax and AWAHLIL!.

        • Asmara Eritrea November 23, 2019

          Thank you for the assurance of Issaias’ immenent death (by an act of God of course) my brother, Fitsum.

          Keep writing and not only will you make Eritrea a better place but the world as a whole. Our country’s future rests with intellectuals like you.

          Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

  • Fetsum Abraham November 23, 2019

    Dear Hagos;
    I hear you brother: we lost everything we had and the Amiches like my family could not even start from the scratch; they ended up becoming refugees after the deportation crysis the devil partially created. by intention or idiocy. we could not even build homes in Eritrea at our expense in this tragic experience. But all is good now: the internal inferno in the region is exploding and the common enemy Isaias will go soon for us our peoples in general to start a new life into everlasting peaceful coexistence ahead. There will be no more wars between the Tigreans and us at minimum and hopefully with the Ethiopians as well. Just relax brother and stay strong.

  • Fetsum November 24, 2019

    Is zis z old dawit or a new disaster? Hey brother k twolde Can u fix his head using ur wisdom if only u think it was fixable?

    • k.tewolde November 24, 2019

      Dawit is the same opportunistic low budget cyber critter who ambushes this website every time he gets a chance assuming he a male,as far as fixing his head,I will leave it to a neurosurgeon,he needs a total hemispherectomy,Fetsum,he have a limited vocabulary and repeats the same soundbites,perfect for a greeting robot like the ones in Beijing malls.

      • Fetsum Abraham November 24, 2019

        Thank you Dr. K, I love your medication for dawit and I started my day smiling in this beautiful café and rainy day. I have no excuse now to not produce something kool with a peaceful state of mind. but Dawit may also need blood transfusion specially around that head. They my have to suck him inside out to figure out the problem. Enjoy

  • HAGOS NETSANET November 24, 2019

    Brother Fetsum
    I see your sincerity & optimism. I used to be like you…by nature I am not oessimistic,but reality hits…how I wish I get proven wrong.but…..I don’t see the actirs…In a way I am selfish like western nations..
    .Brother Fitsum, We used to be TOP PIMPS IN ETHIOPIA..now we are sissy hos…I live in north america not because my placenta was buried here (የእንግዳ ልጄ እዚህ እኮ ኣልተቀበረም) I could n’t see the logic of the struggle & I have lost many.
    I admire your optimism..but..

  • Fetsum Abraham November 24, 2019

    Dear Hagos;
    I hear you brother but a PIMP falls down to resurrect into a better PIMP through experience. Crysis is the mother of transformation and we are getting there slowly. The Eritrean people will ;live a beautiful life with harmonic coexistence with the neighbors after this mess clears out. What we used to have and lost in Ethiopia will duplicate in multiple times once this bug is out of the way. we are not sissies but survivors under any condition and Isaias is the sissy today living a miserable, terrifying life in isolation. Stick to the cause and be careful about the future but this will be done soon. peace

    • k.tewolde November 25, 2019

      I love your answer Fetsum, ‘Crysis is the mother of transformation..’ it melts you down ,it molds you,it humbles you,it chisels a character out of you….as people we have been through some,even-though the punches we throw seem ineffective,here we are still fighting despite the enemy hog tied and threw many of us into a mass grave, dear brother,keep asserting to your people there is a light at the end of the tunnel,keep the torch of hope burning,don’t go away…

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