SINCE PASSAGE OF THE CODE OF Conduct and the signing thereof, there has been conflict over the legal instrument which took five years of debates and back and forth before its passage. The Code of Conduct stood the test of legality in the nation’s highest court – tasked with the responsibility of interpreting laws.
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE CODE of Conduct is, to set out standards of behavior, and conduct required of public officials and employees of the government, it shall guide, regulate and ensure compliance with the norms and behaviors required of all public officials and employees of the government. It is designed and shall be implemented, to ensure impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity, efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of their duties and mandates.
LIKE MANY OTHER LAWS, it wasn’t fashioned to please every single citizen, but the general good of the republic and its resources. It is interesting how some politicians and ordinary citizens in some quarters are strongly kicking against the law simply because provisions within tramples upon their current political interest when they, in fact, had the opportunity two years ago to avert the effects of the Code of Conduct on their political ambitions.
LAST WEEK DR. J. MILLS JONES, former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and currently the political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) insisted he would contest the October presidential elections.
HE IS ONE OF OVER A DOZEN who is expected to be trapped by Sections 5.1 & 5.2 of the Code of Conduct. In a program organized by his supporters to reaffirm their support, Jones said, “We will resist that law, we DON’T CARE WHETHER IT WAS APPROVED BY THE COURT OF PONTIUS PILATE"
"I WILL CONTEST AND NOTHING can stop me from being a candidate in the elections come 2017,” he said. Jones said the Code of Conduct was not approved by Liberians as such it cannot stop him from contesting the elections.
ACCORDING TO HIM: “We’ve done nothing wrong in this country for which we have been targeted by some officials of government. From the day we started our financial inclusion policy at the CBL, we became a target for some government officials who felt that we did not meet their political plan.” The former CBL boss said Liberians are not to be treated as fourth class citizens in their own country.
“WE ARE ALL LIBERIANS AND we need to enjoy our country equally. We are not going to allow ourselves to be treated as fourth class citizen in our own country; this is why they keep spreading lies to prevent me from contesting the presidency,” he asserted.
THESE STATEMENTS ACTUALLY came as a surprise to the press, especially so when it was delivered by Dr. Jones who is well acclaimed in the media for civility.
WE FIND IT DISCOURTEOUS FOR the well-educated economist to claim that the Code of Conduct was crafted purposely to stop him from contesting the elections. We would like to call on Dr. Jones, his supporters and other political actors who will be engaged in this kind of blatant disregard for the rule of law and make statements that casts shadow on our peace to refrain from such.
JONES NEEDS TO BE REMINDED that the Code of Conduct was drafted by the Executive, passed the Legislature (The People) and has been upheld by the Judiciary. While challenging the Code of Conduct is welcome and will in some way strengthen our democracy, Jones needs to do so a very civil manner for the Liberian adages goes, “If you by-pass your respect, you’ll meet your disgrace.”