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ALCOD Commends Pres. Boakai for Establishing WECC Office

-Appeals to Him to Establish a “Presidential Commission on Out-of-Country Voting”

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) has commended President Joseph Nyuma Boakai signing of Executive Order 131, which establishes the War and Economic Crimes Court Office in Liberia.

ALCOD, through its Eminent Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel S. Wettee, said the President’s action has driven the nation in the right direction toward holding individuals legally accountable for their direct and indirect actions during Liberia’s 15 years of civil conflict that resulted to the death of about 250,000 women, children, the elderly and men.

“The President’s patriotic action isn’t only going to hold individuals accountable, but it is also going to bring to the law, institutions that contributed to the wonton destruction of Liberia, including leading to the slaughter of about 250,000 Liberians and foreign nationals,” Eminent Chairman Wettee added and appreciated WECC Advocates like Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Mr. Michael G. Mueller, Emmanuel Savice, and others.

When the President signed the Executive Order on Thursday, May 2, he warned: “Let the word go forth that we will remain firm in our stand against injustice and impunity and that we have no doubt that this move will go a long way in helping to restore respectability and integrity to this country and to a reconciled and united people.”

President Boakai’s moves came after Liberia’s 103 lawmakers had signed a Joint Resolution calling for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia.

“I acknowledge the historic move by our National Legislature—both the House of Representatives and House of Senate—to reach separate, and then, a joint resolution urging the nation to take tangible steps towards paving the way to bringing a just, healed, and reconciled finality to the issues of that ugly period of our past. The direct representatives of the people spoke through their collective and overwhelming vote as they passed the resolution. And so, we must act, and act now!”

Meanwhile, ALCOD is appealing to President Boakai, an advocate of Diaspora Liberians’ interests, to establish a Presidential Commission on Out-of-Country Voting. ALCOD wants this Commission to include the National Elections Commission (NEC), ALCOD, and other parties of interest to setup the mechanisms that will make out-of-country voting possible for all national elections, including the 2029 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

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As Vice President of Liberia during the Administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Boakai and then ULAA 23rd democratically elected President Emmanuel S. Wettee (2006 -2008), met with State, City, Federal officials in Providence, Rhode Island and Minnesota to advocate for Liberians on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Their advocacy resulted to an extension of the DED/TPS for any Liberian national, or individual without nationality, who last habitually resided in Liberia at the time. After many years those on DED/TPS later became beneficiaries of Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) Act, got their U.S. Residency Status (Green Card) and having the options of becoming citizen of United States of America.  In 2017 President Boakai was named ALCOD “2017 Personality of Year” for his advocacy for Dual Citizenship. Today, Dual Citizenship is the law of the land and “Once A Liberian Always A Liberian” is reality in Liberia. A child born to a Liberian mother outside Liberia is a citizen of Liberia at birth.

“We, too, want to directly participate in electing our leaders,” Eminent Wettee added. He, notwithstanding, stated that during national and constituency elections in the country, diaspora Liberians contribute immensely, but most times can’t vote because of their physical presences outside Liberia.

He argues that Article 80 ‘C’ of the Constitution of Liberia states: “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to be registered in a constituency, and to vote in public elections only in the constituency where registered, either in person or by absentee ballot; provided that such citizen shall have the right to change his voting constituency as may be prescribed by the Legislature.”

“This is our right; we in the diaspora want to exercise it,” he added. He promised that ALCOD is prepared to work with the Presidential Commission on Out-of-Country Voting when established.

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