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Code of Conduct risks suspension

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Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais says he has prepared a communication to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate to ensure that the controversial Code of Conduct is suspended on grounds that the Supreme Court’s recent Opinion has made the instrument irrelevant to the October elections process.


Sen. Morais told reporters at Capitol Building in Monrovia on Thursday, 27 July that the recent Opinion of the Supreme Court shows that the Code of Conduct has lost its relevance to the electoral process and the best option is to suspend the entire law.

After upholding the Code of Conduct early in March this year as being legal and binding for all its intent, Liberia’s Supreme Court has now disagreed with the National Elections Commission’s decision to disbar presidential appointees who have come in violation of Section 5 of the instrument that mandates presidential appointees who desire to contest public offices to resign their appointed positions two years prior to such elections.

The Supreme Court on 15 July overturned the Commission’s rejections of two oppositions vice presidential candidates’ quests to contest in the October elections, in person of Liberty Party’s Harrison Karnwea and Alternative National Congress’ Jeremiah Sulunteh.

The Court decided that the violation of the candidates were not egregious to warrant disbarment, adding that both Karnwea and Sulunteh were in substantial compliance with the Code of Conduct.

But the Maryland County lawmaker who entered the Senate on the ticket of jailed ex-president Charles Ghankay Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) says the Opinion of the high court shows that the work of the Liberian Legislature is ‘useless’ and that he wants more clarity on the Code of Conduct.

He suggests that those that were earlier rejected by the NEC should now take advantage of the process, on grounds that the Opinion of the high court indicates that the Code of Conduct is not applicable in these elections.

The Senate’s Chairman on Foreign Relations explains that the Code of Conduct was passed into law by the Legislature and signed by the president for the purpose of preventing unprepared people from participating in the electoral process.

He warns that the provisional listing of candidates will be challenged before the Supreme Court, on grounds that Liberia is a country of law and not men. “Former President Charles Taylor was chased out of here because, they claimed he did not follow the laws of the land,” he says.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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