Liberia's Lawmaker Wants Taylor Government Use US$1Million to Pay Salary Arrears

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 25, 2003

Bong County Representative Joseph Cornomia has suggested the need for the Liberian government to use the amount of US$1million donated to the Elections Commission by the Taiwanese government to pay civil servants salary arrear.

Making a conclusion from what is obtaining in the country, the Bong County lawmaker said the two major priorities in the country now is the restoration of peace and the payment of civil servants salary arrears and not the pending elections.

The lawmaker said the issue of elections is no longer a priority because according to him, the election is no longer certain this year since the ongoing fighting has made almost all parts of the country inaccessible.

Representative Cornomia made these comments on Tuesday when he spoke in an interview with this paper.

Speaking further, the Bong County lawmaker who is also a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, said resolving the current conflict is of more importance than elections.

He added that if elections were held without all the necessary and proper conditions, the nation will go back to what he termed "square zero", stressing that the suffering of the Liberian people will be intensified.

The former House minority leader said since there was a pending peace talks on the current situation, there is the possibility that new mandates such as the issue of disarmament, cease-fire among others, will come out of the talks.

Representative Cornomia said implementing these things will require time, an apparent reference to his earlier comments that there is still uncertainty hanging over the holding of the elections.

Quizzed to comment on what he thinks should be done if the elections were not held October 14, Rep. Cornomia in a serious mood said "if we reach to that bridge, we will cross it".

He urged the international community including friendly governments, that have money to assist finance the pending elections to redirect it to ending the war so as to create a secured and free environment before such.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.