Former Information Minister Becomes Weah’s New Presidential Advisor

MONROVIA, Montserrado – President George Weah has appointed former information minister Laurence Bropleh as special envoy and presidential adviser.

According to an Executive Mansion release issued Thursday, the appointment takes immediate effect.

Bropleh is a lawyer, diplomat, and a Methodist clergyman. He served as information minister under former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after being appointed in November 2006 to succeed Johnny McClain, who resigned on claims of not receiving support from the president.

Bropleh was suspended in October 2009 by Sirleaf while he was representing Liberia at the World Expo 2010 in China. His official assignment was immediately terminated and he was recalled and suspended indefinitely by the former president pending results of an investigation that was launched by the Ministry of Justice.

His suspension followed the release of a draft report by the General Auditing Commission which accused him of defrauding the government of more than US$$200,000.

Bropleh has described the report as fraudulent and written with malice. He resigned in January 2010 while facing prosecution for criminal facilitation at Criminal Court C despite his earlier comments that he would not be forced to resign. He was accused of facilitating the crimes of theft of property and forgery committed by the then-comptroller and chief accountant of the Ministry of Information, Joseph Nyamunue, and Josiah Gwagee. Bropleh denied those allegations.

He said he resigned because of nationalism and out of consideration for Sirleaf’s efforts to make Liberia a better place. However, he noted that his resignation did not mean he was guilty of embezzlement, as suggested in the draft audit report.

On Tuesday, December 7, 2010, the court vindicated the former minister, dismissing criminal charges against him, for the government’s failure to prove its allegation. He has had two unsuccessful attempts to return to the public through the legislature.

During the 2017 elections, the newly appointed presidential adviser contested for Grand Bassa’s third district representative slot but lost to the district’s current lawmaker, Matthew Joe of the Coalition for Democratic Change. He contested on the ticket of the Movement for Economic Empowerment of former Central Bank executive governor, Mills Jones, after losing to the incumbent lawmaker, Gabriel Smith, in Liberty Party’s district primary. Bropleh also contested for the district slot during the 2011 elections as an independent candidate, but he lost to Smith.

Featured photo by David Sasaki

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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