GoL is not serious about democracy

Cllr. Gongloe exclaims; says President Sirleaf must take action against the LNP for jailing CDC’s Morlu

By: Bill E. Diggs | October 10, 2013

Taiwon Gongloe

"If what the police is doing is something that the president does not approve she should speak in clear term," -Cllr. Gongloe

Statesman Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe yesterday said the Government of Liberia was not serious about democracy.

His statement came in the wake of the arrest of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Vice Chairman for mobilization, Mulbah Morlu and 10 other individuals who have been charged with the crime of sedition.

Having gone to represent his clients at the Liberia National Police (LNP) Headquarters, Cllr. Gongloe spoke to our reporter and termed the arrest and subsequent charge of his clients as counterproductive to democracy.

“There has to be some seriousness in terms of moving forward in building democracy,” Cllr. Gongloe exclaimed as he pointed out that on October 9, 2013 he spoke with the LNP Director, Chris Massaquoi, that there was no need to arrest people for using the democratic space.

“Nobody should be arrested in this country for using the democratic space in a manner that is opposed to the Government view. That is what is called democracy. Our test of commitment of democracy is to tolerate opposing views,” Cllr. Gongloe said.

He noted that he (Gongloe) was the first to say that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should resign because he did not like what was obtaining in the country like it is today.

“We have the eyes to see trouble when it is coming and if the young people got in the streets yesterday as long as they were not stoning cars, they were not blocking traffic and they were only expressing their views as those who support the president were doing, it was wrong for the police to arrest them,” Cllr. Gongloe said recalling his days as a student activist.

According to Cllr. Gongloe, who offered pro-bono defense to the arrested individuals, Mr. Morlu and the others were charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy among other crimes.

“We cannot say we are building democracy and be charging people with sedition. That should show that this government is not serious about building democracy,” Cllr. Gongloe stated.

Cllr. Gongloe said he spoke with the detainees and told them that he would defend them, because they were not the first people who had gone to prison as he pointed to iconic politician Nelson Mandela as well as President Sirleaf as some of the people who had gone to jail.

The former Solicitor General said he believes that the Government was wrong to have arrested and detained Mr. Morlu and the other 10 individual. Therefore, he said the president must act to show that she has no part to play in such ‘wrongful action.’

“If what the police is doing is something that the president does not approve she should speak in clear term. She should dismiss somebody to prove that she is building a democratic society. If that is what she is trying to do that is being undermined by this uncalled-for arrest, that is wrong,” He said.

The detainees were arrested by the LNP after they received information that some people had gone to the market in Gardnersville and said that the president had allegedly resigned, which prompted some marketers to pack up their goods and go home.