Officials of the Liberty Party or LP have filed a motion before the Supreme Court requesting the High Court to overturn the decision by the National Election Commission or NEC to reject the nomination application of their vice standard bearer Mr. Harrison Karnwea.
Karnwea’s nomination was rejected on Friday July 7, by NEC on grounds that he felt short of the controversial code of Conduct which bars public officials from contesting for elected offices unless they had resigned two years prior to seeking office.
But officials of LP says Karnwea who resigned few months ago from the Forestry Development Authority or FDA before joining the Liberty Party and subsequently being announced as vice running mate is in no error of the code of conduct.
They prayed the court to rule that Karnwea is qualified and eligible to and may indeed contest the elections as the vice candidate presidential candidate for the Liberty Party.
One key argument being raised before the Justices in Chambers by the party is that Karnwea did not desire and could not have desired two years ago to be running mate to Cllr. Charles Brumskine and therefore could not have resigned.
“The Code of Conduct is unambiguous,” Cllr. Brumskine told journalist over the weekend adding, “Public officials who desire to run for elected offices should resign at least two years prior to the date of such elections. The Commissioners did not hold an investigation because they are quite aware of the exculpatory reasons why the prohibition of the Code does not apply to Mr. Karnwea. Could Harrison Karnwea had desired to be my running mate two years ago? Unless Harrison is a clairvoyant, which I know he is not, he could not have known that I would have asked him to be my running mate two years ago; because even I did not know who my running mate would have been. Two years ago, the only thing I knew was that I was running to be President of our country, and that I would have to brace myself for another onslaught from the ruling Unity Party and agencies of the government, like the NEC.
Should Harrison be held to the statutory requirement of resigning two years ago? Of course not! There was no reason for Harrison to resign at the time, because two years ago he did not desire to run for any elective public position.
But, my fellow Liberians, the Commissioners had determined that they would not allow Harrison Karnwea to be heard; the minds of the Commissioners were made up—they had decided to reject Mr. Karnwea even before we filed our papers.” Brumskine concluded.
By Othello B. Garblah