Mr. Lewis Brown Liberia permanent Representative to the UN says there are growing concerns about the possible employment of designs to delay the timely conclusion of the 2017 Presidential Elections. Mr. Lewis Brown made the assertion in a statement released on 16 November in Monrovia. Mr. Brown says a delay in the conclusion of these elections within the timeframe envisaged by the Constitution has the unfortunate effect of spinning the nation out of constitutional orbit, and thereby ushering the country outside the security of the Constitution.
At home and abroad, there are growing concerns about the possible employment of designs to delay the timely conclusion of the 2017 Presidential Elections. A delay in the conclusion of these elections within the timeframe envisaged by the Constitution has the unfortunate effect of spinning the nation out of constitutional orbit, and thereby ushering us outside the security of the Constitution.
He continues that the mere possibility of risking ourselves outside the guaranteed protection of the Constitution ought to command collective rebuke and loud condemnation insofar as it seeks to undermine the country’s peace and democracy. Mr. Brown notes that Article 50 of the Liberian Constitution provides in part that “The President shall be elected by universal adult suffrage of registered voters in the Republic and shall hold office for a term of six years commencing at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections.”
But further notes that at least three months earlier, on the Second Tuesday in October of the election year, the Constitution provides for the conduct of election, adding that Liberia ventures another step further in emphasizing that no constitutional power is assigned to anyone or any agency of the government to determine a constitutional successor to a president or vice president at the constitutional expiration of the term of office of an incumbent president or vice president, safe through the conduct of democratic elections and the free will and expressions of the registered voters of Liberia; nor is there a constitutional duty assigned to anyone or any agency, through an appeal to the provisions of Article 64, to extend presidential terms or undermine the constitutional limit of such terms.
Mr. Brown’s statement then suggests that in order for Liberians to spin out of constitutional orbit in the important national duty of the smooth, orderly and democratic transfer of presidential power through constitutionally unanticipated delays in the timely resolution of electoral disputes, is also to risk ushering the country outside of all of the constitutional safeguards to which all citizens and various agencies are constitutionally entitled, no Liberian can be really safe of unelected offices if the citizens permit the Constitution to be maneuvered into irrelevance thereby declining society into lawless free fall.
“We dangerously risk our peace, our democracy, our collective security, and our stability. This, again, is simply too high a price for our nation to bear at this time, or ever again! No doubt, we are in a difficult moment. But it is also a defining moment”, the MICAT boss continues.
He then appeals to all Liberians to be returned to the faith and higher duties of citizenships – the same faith by which they have traveled in peace especially over the last twelve years in rebuilding the nation together not because the journey has been easy but because it has been right, urging everyone to keep the constitution safe and secure not because it is problem-free- but because Liberians are free, even freer, to attend to its many problems in the constitutional safety and security they have together built, and of which they should continue to be proud to uphold in good faith.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne