President Boakai’s appointment and matters arising in Liberia

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Elections in Liberia are over, with the small West African country organising a smooth transfer of power and inaugurating President Joseph N. Boakai as the legitimate leader of the Republic of Liberia.

It is now time for the new government to fulfil the campaign promises that formed the basis upon which he was voted into power. 

These promises can only be fulfilled by competent appointees of government, some of whom have naturally started lobbying to be seen by a government already grappling with the issue of unemployment.

A country with a little over five million people has an unemployment rate of 3.63% as of December 2022, according to Statista.

President Boakai has spent more than two weeks in office since being sworn in but has yet to complete the formation of his government. 

What does the law say on appointments in government?

Article 54 (A, B, C, D, E, F) states, among other things, that “The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the senate, appoint and commission, cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers, ambassadors, ministers, consuls, the Chief Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts, superintendents, other county officials and officials of other political sub-divisions.”

Currently, some government ministries and agencies do not have heads or ministers to run the affairs of those government entities, including the Ministry of Labour and all fifteen counties without superintendents.  

President Boakia has so far nominated and appointed more than thirty persons, with a thousand more waiting for appointments.

During the campaign, President Boakai promised to run an inclusive government comprising people from diverse religious, regional, and political affiliations. The promise became crucial after several political parties pledged their support to his candidature during the second round of the country’s 2023 general and presidential elections.  

A Unity Party Alliance was promised and formed before the vote. It is now time for that alliance to be seen to be working after the election.

However, beyond the Alliance members, President Joseph Boakai promised to create more jobs for Liberians when elected as president.

Where are the jobs?

Having won power, members of the ruling party are asking the president to walk the talk and to begin fulfilling his promise of providing jobs to the people.

On Feb 2, 2023, scores of the ruling Unity Party supporters led by the party’s chairman, Rev. Luther Tarpeh, staged a protest at the office of President Joseph N. Boakai to demand jobs.   

The group protest comes a day after the Liberian leader appointed a new head of the National Airport Authority (NPA), Mr Sekou Dukuly!

According to the Front Page of Africa Newspaper, announcing Mr Dukuly as head of the NPA and not the Party’s chairman was counterproductive, something they said led to the protest. 

At the same time, Nimba County senator and former warlord Prince Y. Johnson is also unhappy with President Boakai’s appointments. According to him, the appointments are not reflective of vote-rich Nimba County.

Senator Johnson, who is also an evangelist and the senior pastor of a local church in Liberia, said that the people of Nimba County supported the candidature of President Boakai against former President Weah with the hope of acquiring jobs.

According to the Oracle News Daily, Senator Johnson made the assertion Sunday when delivering his sermon to his congregation.

Meanwhile, the government has since been silent on the matter.        

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