Liberia: The Chosen One – Ruling Party’s Candidate in Senatorial Race Looking to Maintain Grip on Stronghold
Monrovia – Paulita CC Wie is used to defying conventions. In the heat of a bitter District No. 9 party primary battle during the 2017 legislative elections, the daughter of late journalist Paul Allen Wie, a former Deputy Minister of Information under former President Samuel K Doe, and Mrs. Annie S. David, relentlessly fought against the party’s preferred choice, the incumbent, Munah Pelham Youngblood, to a losing end. Now, more than a year later, in the race to fill the vacancy created as a result of the death of fallen Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, Wie’s time has arrived.
Echoes of District No. 9 Elections
The aftermath of that bitter party primary proved a difficult time for a candidate who had paid her dues as one of the party’s strongest supporters, both morally and financially. It was a result Wie refused to accept, going against the party’s norms to accused elections officials of rigging the votes against her.
Wie took her fiery eloquence on various talk radio to express her disgust at the way she was treated at the party polls. So, when the party won state power last January, Wie was rewarded with an appointment as Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, a position she held until recently when she stepped down to contest the Senatorial race for Montserrado County.
In that position, Wie had oversight, over the different mayors of the various cities within the territorial confines of Liberia.
When noise began to erupt that she was in violation of Part V, 5.2 (c) of the National Code of Conduct for Public Officials which sets restrictions for government officials appointed by the President who desire to contest an election, Wie took the high road and stepped aside.
Section 5.1 says “All Officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not: a) engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices; b) use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities; c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.”
5.2 Wherein, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 herein above, desires to canvass or contest for an elective public position, the following shall apply; a) Any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections.
For Wie, it was simply the right thing to do.
“As CEO of Helping Impact Liberia & Representative of District 9, Montserrado County, I had to contribute in my little weak ways to help those parents pay their children school fees. I visited the school to check on the 42 students that are on my scholarship. Thank God for the hardworking teachers & brilliant students that listened to me as I encouraged them to stay focus in school despite the challenges. Little is much when God is in it.”
– Paulita CC Wie, Senatorial Candidate, Montserrado County
In her letter of resignation to President George Manneh Weah, Wie extended profound thanks and appreciation to President Weah for affording her “the opportunity to serve in the Executive Branch of government” for which she said she was grateful. “In pursuance of your desire to ensure women’s participation in polities is sustained in the government, I wish to request that you kindly grant me the necessary support that I may stand in need of working with the people of Liberia and our beloved party,” she said.
Wie, 40, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University – AMEZU (2012) and a certificate in a Master Series Class, Level One – Getting Ready to Lead Women Leadership Program in Policy Development in 2017 from the National Democratic Institute NDI/USAID.
She also has two certificates in Public Administration & Management from Teshie School of Excellence – Accra, Ghana and a Diploma in Secretariat Science & Computer Science from the Leigh-Sherman Executive Secretarial School in Monrovia.
Her elementary days of education were spent at the Calvary Baptist, J.L. Gibson, Assembly of God Mission, the Jimmy Jolocon High School in Barnesville – Liberia, and the Ireti Grammar School located in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Besides her stint as Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, she also previously worked as Assistant on International Affairs – Office of the Peace Ambassador, RL.
Women empowerment, Advocacy
Wie has been involved in long-time advocacies for women’s empowerment and gender equity. She a member of the coalition of political parties’ women – an organization where she actively involved in the decision-making process of the organization. She served as Ways and means Chairperson on the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPWIL)
Party Chairman Mulbah Morlu says the party’s choice for Montserrado has played some distinctive role in women’s leadership within Liberia, the Sub-Region and the world at large. “She represented Liberia at high-level functions both in the sub-region and at the United Nations championing women’s rights, their participation in politics and their role in society.”
Throwing herself fully into the rugged jungle of the Montserrado County Senatorial race, Wie, who prior to her time in government, was the Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit organization called Helping Impact Liberians (HIL), which has been benefiting over 200 women from rural Liberia by providing them essential tools for nation building, used her personal resources to give back.
She told FrontPageAfrica back in 2017: “As CEO of Helping Impact Liberia & Representative of District 9, Montserrado County, I had to contribute in my little weak ways to help those parents pay their children school fees. I visited the school to check on the 42 students that are on my scholarship. Thank God for the hardworking teachers & brilliant students that listened to me as I encouraged them to stay focus in school despite the challenges. Little is much when God is in it.”
Wie sees herself as a patriotic and hardworking business woman who for more than a decade, has set a proven humanitarian track records, great academic credentials and have provided numerous contributions and services to assist, transform and impact the lives of the people.
Education, Health Care on Agenda
During a recent debate amongst her peers including, the opposition Liberty Party’s Abraham Darius Dillon and the Independent candidate MacDella Cooper, Wie broke ranks with some within her own party when she expressed support for the dual citizenship drive. “I will support dual citizenship because there are a lot of Liberians that left this country because of war. Some Liberians left this country because of opportunities that found in other countries, some Liberians left this country because of Ebola, some Liberians left this country because of job opportunities – and when they left they tried to seek greener pastures in other countries and I think when they come, we will not be doing them justice to not accept them as Liberians. So, they should be given the same opportunities because some of them come with more experience, with more international support to help this country.”
The candidate has also expressed support for changing the election cycle from the rainy season to the dry season in a bid increase voter turnout. “I think I will support the change because during the raining season across the country you have a lot of issues when it comes to getting the ballot boxes to other areas that are not accessible easily.”
Wie says she is committed to changing the dynamics of Montserrado County if voters entrust her to represent them.
Wie who has been involved in numerous interventions in the Lakpazee area, decries the lack of basic recreation centers for children to keep them busy after school or at least engaged speaks to the massive needs of the community. “There are no libraries or computer schools, unemployment and the right person to address these concerns.”
For Wie, quality education, improved health care, peace and reconciliation will be given top priority if she is elected. The candidate also says she intends to focus on women and girls’ empowerment, advocacy and youth development.
For the immediate future, Wie and the other candidates are still awaiting the official date of the elections with the National Elections Commission confirming a FrontPageAfrica report this week that it is postponing the elections due to technical reasons as ballot boxes and elections materials have failed to arrive in time for the July 8 vote.
Once NEC finally clears the way and the date for the voting, Wie will be hoping that the incumbent factor would prove pivotal to her quest to fill the void in the Senate. For now, the candidate’s maverick fighting days appear to be over as she put the nightmare of the 2017 party primary behind in her daunted task to become Montserrado County’s next Senator.