ULAA Establishes Democracy Fund, Seeks Taylor's Resignation
May 31, 2001
Translating its resolution into action based on the recently held national conference on democracy in Newark, New Jersey, on April 28, 2001, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, ULAA, has begun to lay the groundwork to set into motion two important initiatives: the establishment of a Liberian Democracy Fund, and pushing for the resignation of President Charles Taylor.
According to a report just circulated by the President of the Union, Mydea Reeves Karpeh, the aim of the democracy fund is many-fold: "As envisaged by the Conference, the Fund shall generate one million dollars through fundraising and funding programs. The objectives of the Fund shall be two-fold: firstly, to conduct civic education activities in Liberia in preparation for the 2003 Elections; and, secondly, to advocate for constitutional democracy in Liberia."
To achieve these objectives, the ULAA administration has established a National Democracy Commission, which would serve as the body responsible for organizing and managing the Fund. But ULAA also intends to seek the input and participation of various Liberian pro-democracy groups to serve on an "Advisory Board of the Fund." The report further states that ULAA has begun consultations with "a couple of American banking institutions to serve as depositories of the Fund resources." Many other operational mechanisms are being considered to make the Fund functional. These include such things as incorporation of the fund, opening of Fund accounts, development of a fund web site, among others.
In furtherance of its conference mandate, the report notes that ULAA has begun to take steps in pressing for the resignation of President Charles Taylor. Towards this end, the organization has decided on the following courses of action: submitting a formal letter to President Taylor asking for his immediate resignation; forwarding a formal letter to both Houses of the Liberian legislature calling upon them to draft a bill of impeachment against Charles Taylor, "on grounds of violation of the Constitution of Liberia and gross misconduct," if he fails to resign after thirty days.
Disavowing violence, the report states that: "ULAA and all well-meaning Liberians do not support violence or removal of a constitutionally elected Government by any other means other that those guaranteed by the tenets of the Liberian constitution."