UP Alleged ‘Treacherous Conspiracy’ In Washington Exposed?

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Liberians go to the polls barely 27 days from now for the Legislative and Presidential Elections which might see Liberia into its third successive transfer of democratic rule since the end of its long civil crisis.

As the clock turns, one of the main opposition parties in Liberia, Unity Party, reportedly set in motion lobby machinery and other networks across the Atlantic in an attempt to stop incumbent President George Manneh Weah, a former soccer star to a re-election.

The Independent Probe Newspaper said it has reliably gathered how the Unity Party currently into an intense lobby in Washington D.C. with  well-connected members of the U.S. Black Caucus to  raise financial and material resources for the Unity Party for the approaching general elections of October  10, 2023.

Liberia new Election laws Part II Section 5: “Citizenship of contributor”, states that (1) No contribution shall be made to, or knowingly accepted by, a campaign committee/treasurer from a person who is not a citizen of the Republic of Liberia. (2) If the person making a contribution is a citizen of the Republic of Liberia, but is not

physically resident within the territory of the Republic at the time the contribution is made, the contributor shall provide the person accepting the contribution on behalf of the committee a statement, ‘on a form to be provided by the Commission (Form .CF07), attesting that the funds representing the contribution are the personal funds of the non-resident contributor and that the contribution is not comprised of funds owned or controlled by a non-citizen of Liberia. Said attestation shall be furnished to the Commission, along with the funds representing the contribution from the non-resident Liberian citizen, and the Commission may take the attestation into consideration in determining whether to remit said funds back to the campaign committee pursuant to

Chapter 7.2 of The New Elections Law of 1986.

The Unity Party’s reported latest maneuverings has alleged created an antenna in the United States, sparking speculation of a ‘treacherous conspiracy’ barely 27 days to go for the October 10 polls.

According to highly placed sources, the Unity Party (UP) has appointed a representative to the Foreign Ministry at the end of August Agents Registration Act (FARA), in order to promote its interests to the Americans.

An insider of the Unity Party is said to have told IPNEWS that the maneuver is particularly intended to allow the former ruling party raise funds from the diaspora for the double presidential election and legislative, the date of the first round of which was set for October 10.

The UP General Staff assigned this task is Liberian-American John B. Fello II. A graduate in sociology and public affairs, an employee of the firm German food company Zentis, who was recently inducted as president of the brand new “United States and Canada” branch of the Unity Party (USACA), created in May in Philadelphia.

At the head of a team of around ten managers, John B. Fello tries to garner maximum support on American soil in favor of UP candidate, former vice-president Joseph Boakai.

Boakai was defeated at second round of the 2017 presidential election by incumbent president George Weah, who is seeking reelection.

Political pundits have cast mixed views in the wake of this latest report of the Unity Party, with some questioning the motivate behind such huge financial mobilization with just few weeks to the October polls.

Others in support of the Unity Party, claimed that the UP is entitled to ensure its financial sustenance as well as build it political machinery both local and internationally just as the government of Liberia continue to paid lobbyist huge sums in Washington D.C. to elevate its tides with Washington.

Does the Americans Trust the Weah Administration?

While the Unity Party has limited resources, its representatives hope nevertheless to take advantage of some unfavorable statements and comments of key U.S. officials with regard to the Weah’s administration to get Washington’s ear.

Recently new United States Chargé d’Affaires,  Catherine Rodriguez, stated that all eyes of the world are focused on Liberia’s October 10, general Legislative and Presidential Elections, stressing that the conduct of the upcoming October polls and its management are significant to the maintenance of democracy in Liberia.

The U. S.  Diplomat said the United States will encourage  the government of Liberia through the National Elections Commission ( NEC ) to ensure that all election observers have full access to polling stations during election day, as well as access to the vote tallying-adding that the government must ensure that the ensuing October 10 polls are fair, free, and peaceful-stressing that the U.S.  Government is prepared to hold accountable those that would attempt to disrupt it.

Also, in September 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned three top officials of the country for corruption, forcing them to resign.

Outgoing United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy stated that it is “extremely disappointing and discouraging” the government’s failure to investigate officials that were sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department for their alleged involvement in public corruption.

Under his tenure, several Liberian officials were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department under the Global Magnitsky Act for their “involvement in public corruption.” Two of the sanctioned officials, former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill and Bill Tweahway, former Managing Director of the National Port Authority have been certificated by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and are contesting for Senator in their respective counties in the ensuing elections on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

With their certification, the two disgraced former government officials join Senators Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, who was earlier sanctioned for play-to-pay.

United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy: “The Embassy is NOT “okay” with it, and we find it disappointing that political parties are nonchalant about the Global Magnitsky sanctions. The U.S. Department of the Treasury spends many hours and other significant resources to research and approve sanctions on individuals. Though the Embassy is separate from the Treasury Department, we fully trust and respect the validity of these designations.”

“The fact is that no Liberian Government entity has even formally taken up our accusations to initiate an investigation to determine the veracity of USG “allegations.” This is extremely disappointing and discouraging. That said, if the voters of Liberia wish to elevate to public office individuals who have been sanctioned, that is their prerogative.”

On the heels of all this, the State Department has long been concerned with President Weah’s procrastination over agreement renegotiation mining between Liberia and ArcelorMittal. American diplomacy seeks for several months positioning American operators on this issue. independentprobe.com

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