By Lincoln G. Peters
The opposition Unity Party (UP) has warned that it is not joking with the 10 October elections, urging the Supreme Court to prove its readiness to protect Liberia’s democracy.
UP Chairman Rev. Luther Tarpeh sounded the waring last week after the Supreme Court reserved ruling in an election case his party filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“This election we are not joking with it. The Liberian people, the people’s vote, we are not going to joke with anything. And we believe that this court (Supreme Court) must prove itself that it’s ready to be on the side of democracy,” said Rev. Mr. Tarpeh.
The Unity Party has accused the NEC of violating the elections laws.
The election law here requires the NEC to publish the final voter registration roll (FRR) and share copies with political parties and independent candidates 30 days before election day.
The NEC has allegedly violated the legal requirement with less than 12 days before the 10 October presidential and legislative elections are conducted.
UP which took the matter up to the Supreme Court, has over the past weeks been issuing threats against the government’s alleged plot to rig the elections.
In its petition for a writ of mandamus, the UP requested the court to issue a peremptory writ requesting the NEC to produce, publish, and distribute or issue the FRR in keeping with the law.
Following the hearing of the case last week, Rev. Tarpeh told reporters that it was allegedly clear to the public that NEC has violated the Elections Law.
Rev. Tarpeh argued that the Election Law provides that three thousand voters are to be registered and vote at a precinct. Instead, he said the NEC registered four thousand plus voters at some precincts.
He stated that if the NEC knows what is right and it fails to do it, the UP will not allow the electoral house to rest in the court of law.
Tarpeh stated that he does not have anything against the NEC, but his party just wants the commission to do the right thing.
According to Rev. Tarpeh, the Liberian people want a good country, they want their votes to count, adding that the UP will make sure that the people’s votes count.
“We will not allow them (NEC) to rest. Because if they know what is right and didn’t do it, we will not allow them to rest,” said Rev. Tarpeh.
“Because this country is important, and we have to protect the peace of this country. And for things to go well we must follow the law,” Chairman Tarpeh explained.
He said that after listening to both sides of the argument, it’s no longer a secret to everyone that NEC has violated the Election Guidelines concerning the registration of voters at a precinct.