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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

US Using Sanctions to Influence Politics in Liberia?

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Biting United States financial and visa sanctions imposed on more than half dozen influential members and associates of the outgoing ruling Coalition for Democratic Change have apparently disabled the political organization raising concern of a weaken opposition for the next six years.

The fairness and transparency of these sanctions are often questioned in varying manner yet US government agencies overseeing the process like the departments of state and treasury insist they are the most appropriate tools in the fight against official corruption.

Barred from entering the US on Dec. 12, Senate President Pro tempore Albert Chie told colleagues during Tuesday Plenary session that the American’s action is more than what it appears to be.

Coming on the heels of Senate leadership election, Chie smears a likely political interference and manipulation than an honest attempt to fight corruption. Senator Emmanuel Nuquay also sanctioned is forerunner in the Senate president race that also features Senator Nyonblee Karnga of the incoming ruling Unity Party Alliance.

“The allegations are misleading and false. I haven’t taken a dime from any lawmaker or chambers to manipulate any legislative process. We will take advantage of the legal process available to remove our names and those of our families from the visa restriction list,” he said.

“The timing of the action on two senators calls for concern especially a few weeks before the Senate elections process. The allegations against Tweh, Nuquay, and me of taking bribes to influence legislative work impugn on your integrity as senators, no matter how you look at it. The attack is on you, whether in the ruling position, opposition,

Liberian Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah is designated by the United States for alleged corrupt practices.

Two Lawmakers,  Senate president Albert Chie and Senator Emmanuel  Nuquay were also sanctioned Monday on the basis of similar allocation, according to the Department of State.

“The United States is publicly designating Tweah, Chie, and Nuquay, for their involvement in significant corruption by abusing their public positions through soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including legislative reporting and mining sector activity.”

The U.S Embassy in Monrovia said these visa restrictions are one of the many tools the U.S government leverages to promote accountability for corrupt actors around the world.

In August 2022 the Department of Treasury imposed financial sanctions on three senior officials of the outgoing George Weah administration, including the President’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill.

As part of this action, their immediate family members are also designated, including their spouses Delecia Berry Tweah, Abigail Chie, and Ruthtoria Brown Nuquay, and Tweah and Nuquay’s minor children.



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