Liberia: Us$4 Millions for Political Parties




E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

Source: allAfrica.com

The formation of political parties and alliances is soon to become a big money making business here now that the National Legislature has ratified an act for government to make budgetary allotments to empower any three foremost political parties in the country.

The Liberian Senate on Monday at its special sitting concurred with the Lower House to allot US$4 million in the national budget annually to build the institutional capacity of the three foremost political parties here at anytime as well as strengthen the democratic structure in the country.

The act states, among other things, that those political parties that should benefit from the proposed budgetary allotment would include the ruling party; party with the highest number of seats in the Legislature to be followed by the party with the second largest seats.

The act also states that a ruling party in the country shall receive an annual budget of US$1million from government, while a political party with the highest seats should get US$2 million annually and the party with seats next to the highest seats should be entitled to US$1 million, respectively.

However, it did not state clearly whether a ruling party with the highest number of seats in the Legislature at the same time would receive US$3 million for the two categories.

The act has been criticized by many observers with some saying it is intended to serve mostly those lawmakers, who are soon to be with job. Members of the House of Representatives had earlier proposed retirement benefits for themselves ranging between US$40,000 and 50,000.

But speaking to reporters after the passage of the bill, Senate Pro-tempore Cletus Wotorson maintained it is intended to strengthen democracy and build strong political institutions.

Senator Wotorson noted that many political observers have termed the decision a as waste of state resources, but argued further that’s the only way for Liberian democracy grow by vesting in strong political parties.

Meanwhile, the act has been sent to the Executive Branch of government for signing into the law and subsequent printing into hand bill.

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