Liberia: Coalition of Political Parties Condemns Senate’s Harassment of Senator Darius Dillon
Monrovia – The Collaboration of Political Parties (CPP) expresses grave disappointment over the decision of the Liberian Senate to investigate Senator Darius Dillion for making comments critical of the Liberian Senate. The CPP acknowledges the bravery of Sen. Dillon to expose bribery in the Senate, which understandably caused embarrassment to Senators, but done in the best national interest of Liberia.
Dillon has shown other lawmakers that they can no longer remain silent thus putting the comfort of their colleagues over the interest of the people. “Any attempt by the Senate to muzzle Dillon’s right to free speech as guaranteed by the Liberian Constitution is an attack on our democracy. Shame on the Senate for this reckless vendetta against Dillon, and shame on us the Liberian people if we allow this to happen, and do nothing”, says Alexander Cummings, Chairman of the CPP.
In spite of that, Dillon courageously continued to publicly expose and condemn the actions of the Senate including the huge salaries and benefits of senators, and corruption in the senate on a number of occasions and objecting to the passage of the recast budget before debating it.
The CPP believes that the current investigation is intended to silence Dillon’s advocacy for the interest of the Liberian people, force him into censorship, and eventually remove him from the Senate. The CPP vehemently objects and will oppose any attempt to silence, suspend or remove Dillon from the Senate. “This is a planned and determined effort to silence critical and independent voices in the Senate, and eventually remove them. Dillon, being the loudest opposition voice in the senate, is the primary target”, observed CPP Chairman, Alexander Cummings.
The CPP recalls that the threat to remove Sen. Dillon began on the day of his induction when Senate Pro Temp, Albert Chie of Grand Kru County, did the dishonorable thing of threatening Dillon with removal from the Senate for Dillon declaring his assets and urging other senators to do the same.
Chie said: “…the power to remove you from here is not with the Liberian people it is with us here, we alone have that power…. here we are master of our own rules.” In spite of that, Dillon courageously continued to publicly expose and condemn the actions of the Senate including the huge salaries and benefits of senators, and corruption in the senate on a number of occasions and objecting to the passage of the recast budget before debating it.
The CPP strongly condemns the Senate’s harassment and intimidation of Dillon for doing the right thing. Chie’s insistence to remove Dillon from the Senate unless Dillon plays by secret and corrupt rules and joins the bandwagon of corruption in the senate is abominably disgusting and a betrayal of the Liberian people.
Chie, a member of the ruling party, whose failure to exercise leadership and ensure the independence of the Senate, has led to seemingly corruption-induced actions by the Senate, including the unconstitutional removal of an Associate Justice, and the surreptitious confirmation of many questionable executive appointees, often under allegations of bribery. He is the one who should be investigated and removed from the Senate. We call on all well-meaning Liberians to stand against this injustice and ensure that Sen. Dillon remains in the Senate to continue fighting for you.
We must never allow injustice to prevail.