“2017 Elections Might Not Be Held” – Charles Taylor’s Former Security Advisor Warns


Monrovia – Former Security Advisor to Charles Taylor, John T. Richardson, says he foresees that the 2017 elections might not be held and the country may be governed by an interim government as finance for the election and security remain major unresolved issues.

Report by Lennart Dodoo – [email protected]

You’re not going to have one PSU truck running to Ganta, going to Voinjama, reaching to the southeast, all at the same time.

So, we should stop deceiving ourselves.”

“We are misleading ourselves in the wrong direction. We have to stop this.

I’ll challenge this government to prove that it is taking us to free, fair elections” – John T. Richardson

In an interview with journalists in Monrovia Tuesday, Richardson said he was disappointed with the direction in which the country was heading.

“I think I am disappointed with the whole direction of the country.”

“Of course everybody uses the government for a whipping board but I am disappointed with the people – with, I am disappointed with our response to our predicament, our response to our own dilemma,” he said.

According to Richardson, Liberians should be concerned because the government does not have money to conduct the 2017 general elections.

“The Liberian government at the UN said it did not have money and they were appealing for money – You’ve set the bar so low you’ve got abundance of candidates and now you’ve got people fighting.

Already, you’ve got no rules, you’re violating the rules that you’ve already set.

By now we should be doing all kinds of voters education, [do] you see anything around you happening that suggests that this is going to take place?” Richardson asked rhetorically.

Richardson: “Right now we are economically unstable, as these 30 something people start campaigning, we’re going to become physically unstable because we’ve only got 15 counties with some very small county seats that sooner or later two or three of them will border in.

Now they’re going to parties and fighting; with this kind of instability, have you seen any attempt to even beef up the security apparatus?

Don’t be deceived by changing the head. Don’t be deceived because the new head of the police is not provided better logistics.

“You’re not going to have one PSU truck running to Ganta, going to Voinjama, reaching to the southeast, all at the same time.

“So, we should stop deceiving ourselves. We are misleading ourselves in the wrong direction.”

“We have to stop this. I’ll challenge this government to prove that it is taking us to free, fair elections,” Richardson said.

Electoral Violation

Richardson critiqued the Election Commission for doing nothing about the ‘early campaigning’ being done by some aspirants.

According to the electoral law, candidates cannot campaign until campaign had been declared opened by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Richardson: “What is the provision about campaigning? Nobody is supposed to be campaigning now.”

“Can you tell me that no one is campaigning?

You are suggesting to me that this is a law but it’s not a law? Is this how we play with ourselves? Are we so ignorant of our own law? Is it that we know them and we refuse to abide by them?”

Legislature Violates Constitution

Richardson: “They know the constitutional provision to come back to sit – they know. The President’s legal advisors know the Constitution that says ‘State of emergency and’, but instead they write the letter and say ‘state of emergency or’ and everybody say – ‘Well let’s take it.

Then they go there and take money, there is no emergency. You read the law and I don’t see and I don’t see anguish, I don’t see anger; I don’t see people who we selected to guide us actually taking a stance in saying ‘No, this is wrong we can’t do this to these people again.

The political class once again is extorting, cheating, doing every dishonest thing and the Liberian people are becoming intolerant.”

He was speaking in connection to the recall of the members of the Legislature from annual break to enact laws that will salvage the economy.

According to President Sirleaf, if austerity measures were not taken, the Executive may not be able to raise the National Budget. US$420,000.00 was made available for the special sitting of the Senate. That of the House is yet to be known.

Crippled Economy & Massive Corruption

Richardson believes the National Budget could perform better if corruption was being curtailed. He criticized the government for passing emergency acts for retaining foreign exchange transfers, recalling that the last time Liberia did such was during the regime of Samuel K. Doe when his government was falling under sanctions and embargo.

“I think when this government declared war on corruption, they perhaps naively thought corruption was unarmed; but apparently corruption counter attacked and it’s beating the daylight out of them. I’ve been around a long time and perhaps previous governments were too poor to steal so much.

“I think the level of thievery [in this government] is too blatant and too callous. It’s disrespectful of the Liberian people,” he said.

He frowned on the government for depending too much on foreign aid, noting that when such occurs, the country would have to respond to the whims of the its financial supporters.

According to him, Liberia should not be satisfied with foreign aid when it does not have its own free will to decide what it does with aid.

Allan White the Racist

Richardson expressed dismay over people who were in communication with former President Taylor shying away from admitting that they were in communication with him.

“Racist Allan White gets on the radio the other day and said people are talking with Charles Taylor. Let me ask this question: What’s wrong with talking with Charles Taylor?

You want to be President of this country; they told you a man won the election by more than 76 per cent, he’s in jail for something they claim in did in Sierra Leone, you don’t think you should ask him ‘My man how you did it?’.

You’ll be a fool to think you could be President of this country if you don’t ask Charles Taylor how he did it. And people are sitting around talking about they shame.

Oh no, they’re denying it? How stupid can they be?”

According to Richardson, it is racist for White to talk to Liberians to demand retributive justice when the country was so small and with almost everyone related to each other. He noted that such call is a tactic to plunge the country into crisis.

He noted that if America believed in retributive justice, it would apologize to Africa for the slave trade.

Dishonest Education System

In the interview, Richardson said the government has failed on its promise to provide free primary school education, however, it cannot provide statistics on the number of students enrolled in public schools across the country.

“It’s dishonest – pure blank dishonest. Our memory cannot be that short term.”

“This is a government that promised free primary school education or did you forget that?

This is a government that promised free education for girls or you haven’t remembered that? Now this is a government that tells us it’s going to spend US$60 million to do what?

To do what?

Come on! We can’t be that stupid, we can’t be that absent minded, we can’t be that forgetful.”

“This is a government that cannot tell you how many children in primary school.”

Richardson challenged the government to show the policy framework it is using to implement its new education system.

He added that the country’s educational system would be in shambles after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf shall have left office.

He, however, clarified that the education system is not President Sirleaf’s failure.

According to him, “successive governments failed to educate the people of this country because they wanted to take advantage of them and they didn’t want them to know.