New York, USA- Dan Donovan, the sponsor of a bill in the United States Congress for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia has been defeated in a reelection bid.
Max Rose, an army veteran running on the Democratic Ticket won the 11th congressional district of New York by more than 50%, unseating incumbent Representative Dan Donovan.
Donovan made an early concession even before any major news network could call the race.
Standing with his daughter and partner Serena Stonick by his side, the former New York District 11 Representative thanked his supporters for giving him the chance to serve the district for the last three years and congratulated Rose on his victory.
“I just got off the phone with Max Rose and I asked him to do a good job for my family and yours, and he promised me that he would,” Donovan said. “I congratulated him on a hard fought effort, it’s been an amazing ride for our family.
“The last 22 years of my entire adult life I’ve served this community, and it’s been an honor and a privilege, something I will never forget, and I will never forget you for giving me that opportunity.”
According to reports, Donovan said he would take the next couple of days off from politics, go “somewhere warm” with his family, and come back to see “what the next chapter of our life is going to be.”
Heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections, there were 205,507 registered Democrats and 119,731 registered Republicans in NY-11 as of Nov. 1, with 70 percent of those voters from Staten Island, home to 48 percent more Democrats than Republicans.
What Donovan’s Defeat Means for Liberia:
Congressman Donovan has been the force behind the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia; famously introducing a resolution for the establishment of war and economic crimes tribunal which passed congress foreign committee room.
Recently, he wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Walt Mattis requesting their assistance in the process, and as a response to Liberia’s foreign Minister Milton Findley recent comments.
Minister Findley recently said, the issue of a war crimes court establishment in Liberia should be decided by a referendum, something that didn’t go down well with the United States Congressman.
With Congressman Donovan gone, and Democrats taking control of the United States House of Representatives, the issue of a war crimes court establishment in Liberia hangs in the balance. Although the Co-Sponsor of the bill submitted by Donovan retained his seat in congress, but with a Democratic House majority, passage by full congress would be a challenge. In addition, whether Secretary Pompeo and General Mattis will act on Donovan’s letter now he is gone, is not clear.
Please see Donovan’s Letter Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis Below:
New York’s 11th Congressional District is home to the largest Liberian population in the world outside of Liberia. With a vibrant presence in the Clifton section of Staten Island, I have seen their contributions for many years. They are a hardworking and family-oriented community who have made themselves an integral part of the district.
As you know, from 1991 to 2002, civil war devastated Liberia and Sierra Leone. The violence took the lives of over 200,000 people, displaced over 1,000,000 persons, and saw horrific cases of murder, amputation, mass rape, and other human rights abuses. The heinous crimes that occurred during this time are unspeakable, yet many of the perpetrators hold positions in Liberia’s government. With the presence of Senator Prince Y. Johnson and others, we are seeing Liberia’s slow creep backwards towards the murderous mayhem of its civil war era.
Liberians are rightfully clamoring for justice. The last thing we want to see is the cycle of violence start yet again. I fear that is exactly what will happen should the perpetrators of vicious crimes be allowed to escape responsibility. To this end, I have introduced H. Res. 1055 in the House of Representatives, which calls upon Liberia to establish a war crimes tribunal. This effort has already been followed by responses from Liberian government officials. Liberian Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley earlier this month reportedly suggested a referendum to establish a war crimes tribunal.
Unfortunately, this vague statement from Minister Findley falls short of genuine and robust commitment to establishing a war crimes tribunal. To that end, what more can the Department of Defense and Department of State do to encourage Monrovia to establish a war crimes tribunal? And how else can myself and my colleagues in Congress assist in this effort? I look forward to your expeditious responses.