UNIFICATION CITY, Margibi – The director-general of the Liberia Civil Aviation, Emmanuel Nuquay, has resigned his position to contest for Margibi’s senatorial seat in the December 8 senatorial election.
The Executive Mansion announced on Wednesday that President George Weah had accepted Nuquay’s resignation as LCAA’s director-general.
“President Weah thanked Mr. Nuquay for his service to the nation and also wished him well in his new endeavors,” the Executive Mansion said.
Nuquay was appointed to the position in 2018, after he contested as running mate to Unity Party’s standard-bearer, Joseph Boakai, and lost to Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC during the December 2017 run-off presidential election.
He previously served as speaker of the House of Representatives while serving as a lawmaker for Margibi’s fifth district. He also chaired the House’s Committee on Ways, Means and Finance under the 52nd and 53rd legislatures.
Recently, hundreds of residents in Margibi stormed the headquarters of the LCAA to petition Nuquay to contest in the December senatorial election.
They acknowledged Nuquay’s contribution in the county’s sports sector, in the education sector through his provisions of scholarships, his indelible contributions to the health sector of the county through personally paying medical bills for citizens, and his presence in infrastructural development by the numerous public facilities erected by him while he was the highest-earning lawmaker.
They also pledged their support to his candidacy in the name of all political parties, stakeholders, and organizations.
But the former LCAA director-general told the citizens that he needed to first have a conversation with the president about their request before responding to their petition, noting that it was in the spirit of brotherhood and reconciliation that the president offered him to serve in the government.
“As you make this request, I want to make this clear to you – during my period of service with President Weah, he has shown me no ill will,” he said. “All he has shown me has been genuine brotherhood, kindness, and respect; I want you to know this. By being human, in the wake of your request, I need to similarly show him – demonstrate to him – brotherhood, kindness, and respect.”
Nuquay, a co-founder of the People’s Unification Party, is expected to face other candidates in the election, including incumbent Senator Oscar Cooper, Margibi’s second and fourth districts’ lawmakers, Ivar Jones of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Ben Fofana of Unity Party.
The Code of Conduct requires officials appointed by the president and wanting to canvass or contest for an elected public position to resign their position at least two years prior to the election they intend to contest. For occupants of tenured positions, the law requires them to resign three years ahead of elections.
In January 2020, President Weah issued a memo requiring all presidential appointees and civil servants covered by the Code of Conduct who were desirous of contesting the pending senatorial elections to resign by February 22, 2020.
However, Nuquay will still be eligible to contest in the election. After the National Elections Commission barred the vice standard-bearers of Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress, Harrison Karnwea and Jeremiah Sulunteh, respectively, from contesting in the 2017 election, the Supreme Court ruled that the punishment was excessive. The court ruled that since the men had already resigned from their positions, even if this was not done within the required time frame, the Elections Commission should have assessed a penalty against the men.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah