Despite Monday’s ruling by the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission that the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) acted illegally in conducting primary in Maryland County and electing Mr. James Biney as its candidate for the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections, the Coalition has instructed its partisans across the country to remain focused and fully engaged with all delegated tasks and obligations in line with the party’s victorious agenda towards the December polls.
“We call on all our partisans to continue field work across the country supportive of all the Coalition candidates duly certificated as a result of the Coalition primaries conducted,” CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu insists.
He assures partisans, supporters and sympathizers, especially in Maryland that only Coalition members are eligible to contest on the Coalition ticket in the pending senatorial election.
“Whilst the Elections Commission did not specifically name any individual as having right to the seat, the Coalition for Democratic Change excepted to the ruling on grounds that said ruling contradicts the framework agreement that binds the three parties and earlier rulings of the Elections Commission. The Coalition has therefore appealed to the Supreme Court”, he argues.
However, in its ruling here on Monday, the NEC noted, “We conclude that the agreement informs that if a constituent party to the Coalition has a sitting Representative or Senator in the National Legislature and that the legislative seat is up for election, the right to nominate a candidate to contest the said election on the Coalition’s ticket belongs solely to the that party”.
The NEC’s ruling followed a complaint filed by Maryland County Senator Dan Morias of the National Patriotic Party against the CDC primary, arguing that as an incumbent senator of the NPP, he is entitled to the seat in line with the framework that binds member parties of the Coalition.
The National Patriotic Party, is a constituency member of the ruling CDC.
According to the Board of Commissioners, Sen. Morais being the incumbent was elected in 2011to the 54th Legislature on the NPP’s ticket to represent Maryland County and on the basis of being a member of the NPP, the Coalition grants the NPP the right to nominate a candidate for the seat in the December 8 election
Morais argues in his complaint that the framework agreement that the three political parties submitted to the NEC has an incumbency clause that provides that a party to the agreement with seat(s) in the House of Representatives and/or the Senate shall reserve the right of nomination of the seat(s), noting that on the basis of the agreement, the right to nominate a candidate to vie for the county’s senatorial seat that he currently occupies belongs exclusively to the NPP.
But the CDC counters that Senator Morais has distanced himself from the Coalition over the years without providing any support to its activities so he does not deserve to contest on the CDC’s ticket. Meanwhile, the CDC announces establishment of a trust fund here to cater to rape victims.
Chairman Morlu addressing a news conference at the CDC headquarters Wednesday disclosed that accounts have been opened with Afriland Bank Liberia Limited for the sole purpose of catering to rape victims, who may fall prey to “wicked men.”
He welcomes the formation of an inter-ministerial taskforce on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), which was constituted by President George M. Weah.
Speaking recently, President Weah rallied the combined efforts of various branches of government – the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and civil society to stop rape in the country.
The President made the call Monday, August 31, after receiving a roadmap dossier from the inter-ministerial taskforce on SGBV at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
The taskforce has been mandated to put into place a technical team comprising relevant stakeholders that will regularly discuss, consult and provide concrete and enforceable recommendations on enhancing the fight against SGBV
Chairman Mulbah Morlu says being inspired by this patriotic call, the National Executive Committee of the Coalition for Democratic Change, which convened recently at its national headquarters in Congo Town, has acted to create a trust fund to eradicate rape and boost support for victims of sexual assault.
He intimates that the trust fund accounts in both Liberian and United States dollars will create an opportunity for everyone to donate to said venture for the betterment of victims, void of political, tribal and religious connections.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor– Editing by Jonathan Browne