Legal luminaries would say that in strict adherence to the rule of law mercy should never temper with justice. They would insist that the rule of law takes its course no matter where the chip falls, meaning regardless who is hurt or what is affected, the rule of law must be applied. And so they ignore every and all pleads for restraint, second thought or mercy.
This is exactly what seems to be unfolding in the Liberty Party in its case against the National Elections Commission. The party national campaign manager, Musa Hassan Bility told his privately-owned Truth FM 96.1 radio in the Monrovia suburb of Du-port Road, Paynesville that the LP would not listen to any regional or national invention in its complaints before the NEC. The LP is challenging the results of the October 10, 20217 Presidential and Representatives Elections, citing fraud and irregularities.
Bility insists that the LP is an ardent respecter of the rule of law, so the law must take its course, regardless of unintended consequences that the Nation, Liberia stands to suffer, including political and economic instability brought about by security vulnerability.The party is vehemently opposed to offer by both the Liberia Council of Churches and the National Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia to intervene to have the matter resolved sooner than later.
Least we be misconstrued here, we as a media institution faithfully subscribe to the rule of law. We believe it is the most effective instrument that keeps society in check and tries to keep societal members equal under its application.But fundamentally, what is law in the first place? It is nothing but reasoning, human reasoning in line with what is on the book. So whenever an individual or an institution feels deprived or transgressed under the law, it seeks remedy or justice before the jurisprudence of the state, county or district in which the alleged transgression was committed, in this case Liberia where the LP and the NEC exist.
The party argues that the alleged fraud and irregularities from the polls affected its performance negatively at the ballot box and therefore, seeks a re-run of the elections. The party had earlier sought and obtained a preemptory prohibition from the Supreme Court of Liberia, halting all electoral activities, including the runoff presidential poll, pending full investigation. It is being joined by scores of political parties, including the governing Unity Party as co-complainants thus, widening the current legal battle against the NEC.
Meanwhile, as the law takes its course, serious unintended consequences are creeping in that threaten the daily survivor of the people. Amid growing uncertainty about the country’s political future, the business community here is proceeding with cautious, faced with three digit exchange rate greeted by skyrocketing food and basic commodity prices.
In a country with high unemployment and grinding poverty the people are yearning for relief or a way out in order to continue with daily life. That way could be either thru the law as the LP subscribes or intervention outside the law that would bring all parties together to see the need to put Liberia first. They careless about who wins the legal battle. All they want is a less stressful environment to face the daily challenges of survival.
But the LP and its co-complainants are not listening. Rather, they want the law to take its course and deliver justice, leaving no room for mercy though the country is being seriously affected by unexpected consequences.