Although this paper wholeheartedly applauds the Liberty Party Standard Bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine for choosing the legal path in seeking redress from the National Elections Commission to his claim of alleged fraud from the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections, but we think the learnt counselor placed the cart before the horse, rather than the other way around, which has affected the entire runoff poll, including the period for campaign leading to voting day.
By not firstly exhausting the 30 days period as stipulated in Article 83(c) of the Constitution of Liberia to prove its claims of fraud and irregularities from the first round of elections, obtain findings, and if not satisfied, then appeal to the Supreme Court, the LP Standard Bearer rather sought an appeal at the highest court of the land before coming down to defend its case at the Commission, which led to an immediate halt of the entire process.
The truth of the matter is whenever the cart is positioned before the horse, as in this current case, movement and progress is impeded, creating rooms for lot of apprehensions and speculations unintended.
Certainly, we believe Cllr. Brumskine himself had never intended the situation to have gone this way, drawing prompt interventions from the African Union and the ECOWAS. But this is what we have resulted to, putting the democratic process to a complete pulse. It is not because of a premeditated mind against a particular candidate, but the LP leader did not do the first thing first.
The question many Liberians are now asking is Brumskine and the LP now prepared to allow the NEC to conduct hearing in the case within the 30-day period as constitutionally required and at the same time gives the electoral house the opportunity to conduct the runoff election between the Coalition for Democratic Change and the governing Unity Party or do they want the prohibition to remain in place, pending outcome of the investigation?
We leave that argument with the lawyers, but the lesson being learnt from this exercise is whenever the right paths are not taken in deriving a logical conclusion, it sends many mixed signals and eventually leads to confusion. Many ordinary citizens are perplexed and worried about the next direction to the much craved for peaceful political transition.
Liberians want to be left along to freely elect a president at the ballot box that would lead this country for the next six years or more. They want to move on with their daily lives with full assurance that there is a government in charge to provide security, peace and ensure their happiness.
The current wrangling is not creating any confidence that this can be achieved in time because the horse is not placed before the cart. Meanwhile, time keeps marching on with uncertainty and anxiety.
We can but only hope that in coming days, all sides would see reason to come up with a timetable that will take us to the runoff election to elect a President that will be inaugurated in January 2018 to achieve a peaceful political transition as every Liberian have envisaged.