The main opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has openly challenge authorities of the National Elections Commission. The CDC described the recent NEC warning against pre-election campaigning as a clever attempt to scare its partisans from exercising their constitutional rights as enshrined in the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
The CDC claimed that the warning was targeted at it and its political leader who is expected to officially declare his presidential ambition on the 28th of April. Recently, the electoral body warned local politicians, political parties and persons seeking to contest the upcoming 2017 general elections to desist from engaging in early campaign activities across the country. The NEC’s warning followed statements and activities of political parties and individuals seeking political offices in next year’s elections, which can be described as early campaigns. Some individuals vying for political offices here have already begun printing t-shirts and posters far ahead of the declaration of the political season.
But NEC said such practices violate Chapter VI, Section 6 of its 2014 guidelines relating to registration of political parties and independent candidates. The electoral body said it will not hesitate to revoke the licenses or bar political parties or individuals found in violation of its guidelines.
The CDC made the statement through its National Vice Chairman for Operations, Mr. Mulbah Morlu last weekend during a pre-launch of Senator George Weah’s presidential bid in Monrovia. Morlu, who spoke on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the CDC, intimated that when Vice President Joseph Boakai was petitioned in Lofa County to contest for the 2017 elections, the NEC did not speak, adding that when both Speaker Alex Tyler of the Liberian People Democratic Party and Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine made their respective county tours, the electoral house, headed by Chairman Korkoya, did not issue such warning, but chose to do so when CDC’s Weah was about to declare hos intention.
Morlu added that the CDC will neither adhere to nor be intimidated by the warning, and that the party will go ahead with its planned program. Morlu pointed out that they will encourage their partisans to make it their duties to show up in their numbers on April 28, 2016 for the historic event, saying: “We challenge Mr. Korkoya and team; we defy them. Their threats and forms of intimidation will not scare us. If the Chairman will be a threat to the CDC and other political parties, then he will not remain as head of the electoral body because our democracy has come a long way for a single individual or his team to temper with it,” Morlu said in a hash tone.
He alleged that the current Internal Affairs Minister, Dr. Henrique Tokpah, was appointed in government as means of helping to politically deliver Bong County to the ruling Unity Party – something he termed pre-campaigning activities by Vice President Boakai and the government as a whole.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by George Barpeen