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Saturday, July 13, 2024

MARTIN KOLLIE URGES PRESIDENT BOAKAI TO PUBLICLY DISCLOSE ASSETS

Date:

MONROVIA – In a poignant letter addressed to President Joseph Boakai, Martin K. N. Kollie advocates fervently for transparency in governance, particularly urging the public disclosure of presidential assets. This call comes amid growing concerns over accountability and ethical governance in Liberia.

Kollie, Chairman Emeritus Research and Policy Response JNB for President 2023 campaign, begins by reminding President Boakai of their collective pledge to transparency during the 2023 election campaign. He emphasizes the critical importance of fulfilling electoral promises, stressing that openness in asset declaration is not merely a legal obligation but a moral imperative for public officials.

“Dear President Boakai,” Kollie writes, “You cannot change the rules in the middle of the game.” This direct appeal underscores the public’s expectation that elected leaders uphold their commitments to transparency, echoing widespread discontent over previous administrations’ secrecy in asset management.

Drawing parallels with former President George Weah’s handling of asset disclosure, Kollie highlights how lack of transparency contributed to public distrust and criticism. He warns against repeating such mistakes, emphasizing that transparency is essential for restoring and maintaining public confidence in governance.

Kollie critiques legal arguments presented by Boakai’s advisors to justify non-disclosure, questioning the rationale behind withholding asset details when transparency is fundamental to accountable governance. He cites Section 10.2 of the Code of Conduct Law, which allows public access to asset declarations through legal channels, highlighting the futility of secrecy in an era where information transparency is paramount.

The case of Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye serves as a contrast, where Faye’s voluntary disclosure of assets before assuming office set a positive precedent. Kollie details Faye’s comprehensive declaration, including properties, vehicles, bank accounts, and liabilities, underscoring the clarity expected from leaders.

Expressing concern over reports from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) indicating a significant number of officials failing to declare assets, Kollie warns of ethical implications and advocates for strict adherence to accountability measures within the government.

While affirming his support for President Boakai’s leadership, Kollie emphasizes the importance of leading by example. He urges Boakai to demonstrate commitment to transparency, asserting that genuine accountability begins with the President setting a clear standard for transparency in governance.

Kollie reiterates that fulfilling electoral promises is crucial for maintaining public trust and credibility. He calls upon President Boakai to promptly make his asset declaration public, stressing that the integrity of the administration and its legacy hinge upon this pivotal commitment.

“This is a reminder of what we promised our PEOPLE,” Kollie asserts. “We cannot change the rules in the middle of the game. Remember, this is tied to your legacy.”

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