Former ruling Unity Party (UP) has called for the replacement of officials of the National Elections Commission (NEC), saying it no longer has confidence that the commission can conduct a free, fair and transparent election in the pending 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper via mobile phone Monday, 6 June 2022, Unity Party Secretary General Mo Ali said claimed that the Commissioners at the NEC can be replaced because they have proven to be allegedly corrupt.
He said the UP is having consultations and a decision for the removal and replacement of the NEC officials will be followed.
Ali noted that the party does not have confidence in the NEC because the electoral house has allegedly proven to be corrupt and incompetent.
“The statement is very clear and it speaks loudly, that we do not have confidence in the NEC any longer,” Mr. Ali said in response to this paper’s inquiry regarding UP’s statement issued Monday, 6 June 2022.
“We are not the only political party but several other political parties in the country. The NEC has proven to be corrupt, and unfair. We see them be corrupt and in 2023 they can not provide transparent, fair and free election,” Ali noted.
He alleged that the NEC has also proven that it can easily be bought, and the UP does not believe that the commission can conduct a free, fair and transparent election across the country as Liberians prepare for a major election.
The opposition party’s position against the NEC comes after Liberia’s Supreme Court reversed the commission’s decision denying UP and the All-Liberian Party (ALP) the right to field candidates in their own name in the Lofa County Senatorial by-election and the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
The commission had taken the decision based on a request by the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) and a faction of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) to block the UP and ALP from fielding candidates in line with a purported clause in the disintegrated Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
But the Supreme Court over the weekend ruled that the UP and ALP were free to field candidates.
In a press statement issued Monday, 6 June, UP political leader and Liberia’s former Vice President Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai said he does not have confidence in the National Elections Commission as it is now.
He said he cannot shy away from that question, alleging that “there’s a lot of political leaning in there, lot of incompetence, and people that are unpatriotic, and we don’t believe they belong and cannot lead us to 2023.”
The release quotes Amb. Boakai as stating that the mandate of the NEC does not allow it to work for any political party or government, but only in the interest of the Liberian people.
The former vice president in reaction to the decision of the Supreme Court handed Friday, 3 June 2022, noted that the highest court of the land made the right decision in upholding the Constitution and Rule of Law when it decided to nullify the NEC’s obstruction to registering the UP candidate in the rescheduled Lofa County by-election.
The pending Lofa by-election has been scheduled to take place after former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, who was elected in the December 2020 by-elections, was prevented from taking his seat as Senator of Lofa County because of his conviction in a criminal case filed against him.
Amb. Boakai then commended the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for this precedent-setting decision, which he said was a signal to the NEC “to do the right thing at all time.”
Amb. Boakai also warned the NEC that it is incumbent upon the Commissioners to do the right thing because the UP will be prepared to challenge any wrong decision made against “the opposition and, by extension, the interests of the voters.”
The UP political leader then strongly noted that maintaining the “hard-won peace in Liberia depends on the unfettered practice of legitimate politics, which include Free and Fair Elections.”
He reminded the NEC about updating the Voter’s Roll and the urgent need to use the Biometric Voting System in the 2023 elections, which were recommended by International Elections Observers in 2007, including ECOWAS.
Boakai emphasized that the 2023 elections must be conducted through a “transparent process because the Unity Party and its affiliate political parties and the people of Liberia will accept nothing less.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/you-are-free-to-contest-s-court-tells-up-nullifies-cpp-framework/