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NEC warns lawyers, politicians

By Lincoln G. Peters

Liberia National Election Commission (NEC) is warning lawyers and politicians here ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections that it will trash every and any unnecessary election case intended to delay the process.

Making a remark on behalf of the chairperson of NEC, Madam Davidetta Brown- Lasannah at the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) two-day annual General Assembly held at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town over the weekend, Commissioner Boakai A. Dukuly argued that NEC will not waste time hearing unnecessary election matters.

“This time, we will not allow any lawyer to keep us holding their case too long. We will send you forward to the Chief Justice. Sometimes, I can hear the Supreme Court saying you are supposed to decide on this before sending it here. We know, that once you (Supreme Court) decide it, it’s decided that’s why we do that,” he stated.

He also pleaded with lawyers who will be appearing before the commission in hearings relating to the 2023 election disputes to be conscious of the statutory time limit provided for disposing of election matters before the NEC. He said repeated requests for continuants would delay the electoral process and cast blame on the commission.

“We plead with you, we have only 30 days to hear and dispose of election matters and concerns. I am told that the Supreme Court would live within seven days to dispose of cases if they received all the documents. So, you must be ready to do that for us, we plead with you. The chair is happy that you are joining us to discuss and educate on the Election Law” Mr. Dukuly said.

” Now, they are doing voter registration. Therefore, if you have to bring cases that have to do with Election, you will just be wasting our time. We ask you to please live by what the status provides. Moreover, we want you to pay some attention to the Election Law. According to Justice Banks, they are divided into sections,” Commissioner Dukuly explained.

Commissioner Dukuly was quick to point out the excitement of NEC over the news that the LNBA is volunteering to conduct Civic and Voter Education (CVE) awareness through their training.

Meanwhile, the LNBA ended its two-day annual General Assembly over the weekend. The program brought together several delegates and participants, including members of the diplomatic corps, current and past justices and associates justices of the Supreme Court, and lawyers.

The program was held under the theme: ” Beyond Rhetoric and Impunity: Law, Governance and 2023 Elections-The Basis for Democratic Necessity in Liberia.”

On the first day, Friday, March 31, there was CVE session on topics ranging from election dispute, filing, hearing, and adjudication. This was delivered by former Associate Justice Micah Wilkins Wright and Cllr. Arthur Tamba Johnson.

Accordingly, Trends and Outlook of the Supreme Court in the adjudication of election matters were also delivered by former Minister of Justice Cllr. Benedict Sannoh.

At the closing, another CVE session on the topic: Constitutional and Statutory Steps Preparatory to the Conduct of Elections,”, was delivered by former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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