22 January Press Brief

Monday, 22nd January 2007
Members of the Press:

We like to welcome you to another session of our briefing and want to thank you for coming.

  • I am pleased to inform you that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s travels out of this country continue to yield more positive results.  The latest is the arrival into the country of a 1.25 Mega Watts generator; the first of two generators donated by the Libyan government, as part of that government’s contribution toward government’ efforts to restore electricity to all parts of the country. The second 1.25 Mega Watts generator will arrive in the country anytime this week. The Libyan government made the donation during a visit to that country last year by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at the invitation of Col. Mohammad Kadhafi.  The generators will be integrated in the second phase of the Emergency Power Program, which will   cover a greater portion of Bushrod Island and Paynesville, and expand the first phase of the Emergency Power Program. Along with the generators, the Libyans have also donated two tractors intended to assist   government in its agricultural sector. The tractors have also been brought into the country.

The President is very appreciative of the gesture by Col. Kadhafi and his government, representing yet another manifestation of the confidence friendly governments and the international community continues to repose in this new government.

  • We also welcome an announcement last week of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf scholarship   Program.  The program would provide 50 scholarships to enable female High School graduates to   study at American colleges and universities. The President, who could not attend the official launch of the Global Women’s Action Network for Children in Jordan, sent a video message to the conference, highlighting the need for the enhancement of girl’s education.
The announcement of the scholarship program for girls and the ongoing Liberian Educational Trust initiative represents a further reinforcement of the President’s determination to prioritize education in the country, particularly for girls. LET recently made available one grant to support the construction or rehabilitation of more than 14- schools, totaling more than $US1.3 million dollars. Prior to that, an additional grant to enroll 1,200 (one-thousand two hundred) market women in literacy courses across the country was also announced.

  • Finally, the office of the President has received a letter from the chief Clerk of the House of Representatives informing the Executive of a decision by the House to remove Hon. Edwin Snowe as Speaker. The letter has been forwarded to the Justice Ministry for legal advice.
The Executive Mansion continues to urge the Honorable members of the House of Representatives to   amicably resolve the leadership issue within the framework of that body’s existing rules and in keeping with the due process of law. As there exist three separate and distinct branches of government, we again reiterate that the Executive Mansion or the President will not be drawn into the exercise at the Lower House which is purely a legislative matter and must be addressed at such within that context.

The issue of bribery as we have previously stated is of grave concern. The Justice Ministry through the Solicitor-general has indicated the Ministry’s is preparedness to look into those   allegations once it is determined that bribery did indeed occur among some members of the House.

We also want to make it clear that we have no knowledge regarding news of the removal from the Centennial Memorial Pavilion of the official chair of the Speaker and his Deputy. The Director-general of the General Services Agency has been asked to provide clarification on the matter.

I thank you, and will  now take your questions.