The road to the October elections is becoming clear by the day as the National Elections Commission or NEC is expected to issue the writ of elections today, 9 May to mark the commencement of electoral period here ahead of the October 10th polls.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, will read the writ of elections and state the golden rules that will guide the electoral process. Already, there are about 22 registered political parties in the country gearing up to participate in the elections, with hundreds of representative aspirants and several presidential aspirants.
The Commission announced that about two million Liberians registered during the voter’s registration exercises between February and March. Among those aspiring for the presidency include the ruling Unity Party standard bearer, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai; Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party, Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change, and corporate executive Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress or ANC.
Others are: ex-executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Dr. Joseph Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of the newly founded Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, businessman Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party, and Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, an independent aspirant.
For the House of Representatives, Speaker Emmanuel James Nuquay, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchure and the House’s Chairman on Foreign Relations, Montserrado County Representative Edwin Snowe, are among huge number of incumbent lawmakers seeking reelection.
But some of the hopefuls maybe trapped in the controversial Code of Conduct, which bars presidential appointees, who had not resigned two years prior to election’s year from participating.
The Code of Conduct in Part V: Political Participation 5.1 states: All Officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not: a) engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices; b) use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities; c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate”. However, some Liberians believe that such portions of the Code of Conduct should be relaxed in order to have smooth and peaceful elections.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne