Friday, December 29, 2006

What was she Thinking?

From a VOA report:

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she takes full responsibility for including a gift of 500 dollars in the Christmas cards she sent to a number of media institutions in Liberia. A number of the publishers condemned the president’s action and returned the money. Earlier this year, in an unusual public criticism, President Sirleaf described some Liberian journalists as checkbook journalists. So was her 500-dollar check a true Christmas gift to the media or a bribe?

Lawrence Bropleh is Liberia’s minister of information. He said President Sirleaf was simply trying to share the Christmas spirit with the media.

“The president, you may or may not know, had been going around the country and had arranged for Christmas parties to be held throughout the country for children, and she had visited other personalities throughout the city. She visited hospitals and everywhere she went she gave a gift, and said well, members of the press are always part of our family. Let me extend to them a Christmas card and include 500 dollars because many of them would want to have Christmas parties for their employees. This was the pure intent of this,” Bropleh said.

Seems like it was a bad decision. By way of background, Liberian presidents have traditionally handed out symbolic presents to their constituents, and EJS has lately handed out bags of rice, etc., ostensibly paid for out of her own pocket.


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