Support for Benoni Urey’s quest for the presidency has begun rising with several prominent personalities joining the struggle.Mr. Urey, former commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs in the government of former President Charles Taylor, announced his intent to stand in the race to replace President Sirleaf after her tenure expires in 2017.Since that pronouncement was made, there have been mixed reactions from the Liberian public. Some have expressed support for his bid, while others believe Urey is similar to his former employer, Charles Taylor, and as such electing him (Urey) would mean “a return to the regime of Charles Taylor.”The latest of Urey’s supporters is constitutional lawyer, Cllr. Pearl Brown-Bull. In her assertion on a local radio talk show Wednesday, April 9, in Monrovia, Counselor Bull declared her support for Urey, stating that Urey seems to be the right person for the job.Her statement was made in reactio to a recent war of words between Mr. Urey and a member of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government, Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah.Urey had earlier criticized Madam Sirleaf for leaving the country without addressing the problem of the Ebola Virus affecting Liberia.Reacting to said comment, Presidential Press Secretary Piah was quick to condemn Mr. Urey’s accusation that she does not have the country at heart.“Mr. Urey’s comments reflect a serious lack of governance [experience], political ineptitude and naivety on the part of a political nobody, who has allowed his quest for the presidency to render him mischievous and disingenuous,” Piah said. “Mr. Urey argues that President Sirleaf has no interest in Liberia and its people simply because she departed the country to participate in the 4th EU-Africa Summit at the time an outbreak of Ebola was reported in the country.”If this statement came from just anybody,” Piah continued, we would not have been surprised at all; but coming from a man who says he has his eyes on the Presidency, we are not only surprised but ashamed of him.”Urey angrily reacted to Piah and the President: “When substantial issues are raised against the presidency, they unleash their dogs to come after you.” Based on these exchanges, Cllr. Bull asserted that the responses from the President’s office are immature and unnecessary.“Judging from comments made by these people the President has around her,” Cllr. Bull said, “Makes me strongly support Mr. Urey for the presidency.”“I never wanted to do so before, but the people the President has around her have forced me to support Mr. Urey,” she asserted.Cllr. Bull is a signatory to the 1986 Liberian Constitution and a former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Though she may not be as well known or influential as many politicians in the country, such a statement from a ‘seasoned’ lawyer could serve as a political plus for Mr. Urey’s ambition for the presidency, a political analyst told the Daily Observer. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Regional carrier LIAT has announced they will be introducing daily flights between Guyana and Trinidad, commencing on July 1 with the intent of connecting the two strategic points in the Caribbean.According to the airline, customers would have the limited opportunity to fly from the Eugene F Correia International Airport to Trinidad for only US$200, providing they book before May 31.LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones said with the introduction of the new service, it would boost their destinations from 14 to 15. She explained that the airline has also been working assiduously to boost their on-time performance,LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Julie Reifer-Joneswhich currently stands at over 80 per cent for 2018.“We offer you the choice of connecting as far as Puerto Rico. We are proud of the improvements in our on-time performance. Even with the hurricanes last year, we were recording significant improvements in our on-time performance and we ended the year with a 68 per cent compared with 49 per cent before,” she noted.Reifer-Jones said with the launch of the new service, it would provide another important connection for their customers.“This daily service will help connect these two strategic points in the Caribbean for persons, whether it is for business or pleasure. This will give us three daily flights in Guyana and three flights out. We see this as critical because we think Guyana is an important market for LIAT and a growing market which we want to be able to take the opportunity to be a part of,” she said.Also at the launch was Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, who welcomed the service, noting that it would help to address the lack of airlift to and from Guyana. Gaskin said it was related during the recently concluded Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, that there were difficulties in accessing flight to Guyana; hence, he described the new service as one that is timely.LIAT’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Egbert Riley explained that the airline has big plans for Guyana. He also stated that the Guyanese market is one of the most important markets for the carrier since it would have shuttled over 70,000 passengers in 2017.