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Listening to the Concern of the New Justice Minister

When he appeared before the Committee on the Judiciary of the Liberian Senate for confirmation hearing this week, one of the major issues discussed by the Liberian Justice Minister-designate was next year’s Presidential and Representative Elections in Liberia.

Former River Gee County Senator Frederick Cherue;s concern expressed to the Committee was that the 2017 Liberian Elections may be chaotic in the absence of a serious review of the law before the process.
He told the Senate Committee that there were laws on the books that needed complete review or else the process could be hindered by cases/complaints arising out of election results.

Though whatever specific issues and laws the Justice Minister-designate was referring to may not have been disclosed, his concern may just be something with which to reason, considering the level of our own politics and gullibility of the Liberian society.

Even though the National Elections Commission or NEC, a few months ago, may have reached a Memorandum of Understand with a number of Liberian Political Parties on approaches to seeking redress to electoral matters, it is also important to look at the electoral laws/guidelines for review if necessary, to reflect present day political realities – perhaps, that’s reference of the Justice Minister-designate.

And it is now incumbent on all political/electoral stakeholders, including the National Elections Commission, to see reason in the concern raised by Cllr. Cherue – the new Justice Minister and act now to avoid any future embarrassment.

While NEC may consider a review of the electoral laws as ‘late’, costly (and time-consuming), constructive engagements with the necessary stakeholders, including political parties and local and international partners on the way forward with the laws would be an achievable venture towards the successful conduct of the 2017 elections.

Let the concern of the minister not be ignored or seen as an issue of less importance, but one to put the process in proper perspective to avoid any future chaos. 

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