By Festus Poquie
Top human rights lawyer Tiawon Saye Gongloe and his Liberian People’s Party are backing main opposition leader Joseph Boakai to secure the presidency and put on trial individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the country’s first and second civil wars, which ended in 2003.
Gongloe, a first-time presidential candidate who finished 6th in the first round of balloting Wednesday presented a litany of policy issues including establishment of war and economic crimes court, public funding of health and education as the fundamentals for supporting Boakia in the Nov.14 presidential runoff elections.
The rights lawyer was the country’s chief prosecutor who executed the turnover of former President Charles Taylor to United Nations backed war crimes court for Sierra Leone within the first hundred days of ex-president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.
Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, the notorious warlord of the 1990s, top the lists of potential candidates for war crimes trial for horrific role played during the country’s civil crisis.
He Boakai’s main backers in this year’s race for the office of president.
His support to the 78-year-old politician prevented the Unity Party from failing in the first round. PYJ delivered vote-rich Nimba County to the Unity Party with an more than 137,000 votes.
If what Gongloe wants is written in stone then PYJ will reap his reward in the first 100 days of a Boakai led administration.
“We hereby declare that our party will supporthe Unity Party. We call on our partisans to go out to campaign and vote for the Unity Party and to ensure that the Unity Party wins this second round of the 2023 Presidential Election,” Gongloe said.
“We are choosing one of the parties based on our expectation that the party that we choose to support will do the following in the first hundred days of its administration:
“Take measurable steps to improve the rule of law, through strengthening law enforcement and the independence of the judiciary;
Publish the asset declarations of all officials government along with their salaries and benefits; Increase the salaries of civil servants including police officers, nurses, military and paramilitary, teachers, janitors, etc.
Begin quarterly lifestyle audits of officials of government in the Executive Branch.
Take steps towards the investigation of all sanctioned officials in government with the assistance of the US Government. Take steps towards the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court.
Increase the budget percentage to begin mechanized agriculture; and increase percentage for education, and health to be at least 15 percent each of the 2024 budget and to put public works stations in the fifteen counties in order to improve the freedom of movement during the rainy season.
We hereby place on notice the party that we are declaring support for today, that upon its failure to meet these expectations, we will be the first to condemn and criticize them.”