MONROVIA, Montserrado – Pearl Brown-Bull, a Liberian lawyer who was a signatory to the 1986 constitution, has criticized the presence of ECOWAS and African Union leaders in the country, saying that the country’s judicial system can handle the current situation without outside interference.
Guinean President Alpha Conde, who heads the African Union, and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, who chairs ECOWAS, recently ended a one-day political stakeholders’ meeting in Liberia with heads of various political parties.
The two leaders’ visit was meant to ease tensions following a decision by the Supreme Court to put a stay order on the runoff November 7 presidential election scheduled between Unity Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change.
Ironically, in Togo, tens of thousands of people have been reportedly protesting against Gnassingbe, whose family has held power for five decades.
Brown-Bull spoke to journalists on Friday at the Supreme Court before the start of arguments into Liberty Party’s writ prohibition to halt the 2017 presidential runoff election between the Unity Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change.
She noted that Liberia is a sovereign nation with a judicial branch that is “is not involved in politics.”
As a founding member of organizations like ECOWAS, the Mano River Union, and the African Union (whose predecessor organization, the Organization of African Unity, was founded in Sanniquellie, Nimba), Brown-Bull said Liberia should not be running to other countries to help it resolve its problems.
“Such decision to call on African countries is an insult to Liberia,” Brown-Bull said.
She challenged the men who were running to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to prove that they can rule without causing chaos.
Brown-Bull said after Liberia’s decade-long civil crisis, Sirleaf in 2005 broke the glass ceiling and became Africa first democratically elected female president.
“Now the torchbearer is about to leave the political stage amid confusion, the male candidates should be talking to their people to avert the confusion but they are rather calling on African countries to intervene,” she said.
“If the men are unable to lead Liberia and will have to call on African countries that we [Liberians] helped to bring into existence, let them give the country to the women to lead,” she quipped.
Of the 20 candidates who were running for president, only one was a woman – Macdella Cooper.
Brown-Bull said she had not gone to the court as a lawyer, but rather an observer from the Women’s Situation Room, a group of prominent Liberian women established to mitigate conflict before, during and after elections.
The initiative was started by the Angie Brooks International Centre for women’s empowerment, leadership development, international peace and security and Liberian women organizations during Liberia’s 2011presidential and legislative elections.
Featured photo by Zeze Evans Ballah