IN DECEMBER 2016, the Vice President of Philippines Leni Robredo resigned her cabinet post, citing major differences with President Rodrigo Duterte.
IN HER LETTER OF RESIGNATION to the President posted on her Twitter account, Robredo said, "Remaining in your Cabinet has become untenable."
LENI ROBREDO, A HUMAN rights lawyer and respected political newcomer, tendered her resignation as housing secretary in a letter to the President but will stay on in her elected post as vice-President.
IN THE PHILIPPINES, PresidentS and vice-Presidents are elected separately and have often come from rival political parties, as is the case with Duterte and Robredo.
WHILE LIBERIA’S CASE MAY be different wherein the President and her Vice are elected together and are often from the same party and share common ideologies, the case of Robredo gives a clear example that there is always an exit point where there is no common ground.
VICE President JOSEPH BOAKAI, after serving in that capacity for the past 11 years, seem to somewhat distance himself from some of the failures of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government and her some of her policies that have come under bombardment.
PRESSED IN AN BBC INTERVIEW on Monday what difference he is hoping to make that he has not been able to make over the past 11 years, the VP said he was not the President and only the vice.
“MOST PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND the role of the Vice President and the mix it up with the President.
"THE VICE President IS THE VICE President. The Constitution clearly defines the role of the vice President and you can only assist the President.
"I PRESIDE OVER THE senate without a vote; I take on responsibilities that are assigned to me. I do not fire; I do not hire.”
ASKED WHETHER FAILINGS are down to the President and not him, he replied: “well, i’m saying that I have discharged my responsibility and the President is on record to always give me credit for what I have done. I don’t do what I’m not supposed to do unless she asks me to do so.”
IN LIBERIA, President SIRLEAF IS facing a barrage of criticism for not meeting the overall expectations of Liberians – something which could affect the continuity of the ruling party.
However, vice President Boakai, who is supposed to be the closest aide of the President in a smart move continues to distant himself from the perceived failures of Madam Sirleaf by defining his role in government parallel to hers.
HIS SMART PLAY BY OUR UNDERSTANDING suggests he is not proud of the government which he has served over the years under Sirleaf and for that matter; he is now drawing a distinction.
AS A MEMBER OF THE Unity Party and in the capacity as Vice President, Mr. Boakai needs to shoulder the responsibility, share in the glory and failures of the government as would Madam Sirleaf, instead of shying away and playing the blame game.
IF THINGS HAD NOT BEEN GOING the way he had expected it to go over the past 11 years, he should have resigned and speak the truth to power.
- VICE President, WE do agree with you that the President’s roles are clearly spelt out in the Constitution and so is yours. Equally so, your inability in your capacity as vice President to influence major decisions and policies should not be a conduit for excusing yourself from the criticisms of government. For we are sure, that you would campaign on the successes of this regime.