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Unconstitutional, criminal in nature

Dr. Whapoe terms new election bill

By Lincoln G. Peters  

Presidential hopeful Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe says a new bill seeking lawmakers’ approval to retire all election magistrates, across the country is unconstitutional, criminal in nature and a breeding ground for violence and corruption. 

“We want to caution the Senate if they do not want the reversion of what we went through during the country’s dark days … let them recall that bill and that bill … die in the House of Representatives, Dr. Whapoe said over the weekend.

The opposition Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) political leader warned against reverting to the nightmare that the country passed through during its dark days.

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Dr. Whapoe suggested that the bill is a breeding ground for corruption and violence, noting that “we are not here for violence because we want to maintain the peace.’’ 

On Tuesday, 9 August 2022, President George Manneh Weah requested lawmakers to return from their break to discuss critical national issues for the period of 30 days which began on 15 August 2022 and will end Tuesday, 13 September 2022.

Among others, the issues included a request for legislators to pass the amendment of the New Elections Law which calls for the immediate dismissal and retirement of all election magistrates across the country.

But Dr. Whapoe called on the Liberian Senate to reject the bill because it allegedly aims to allow President Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government to rig the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

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Dr. Whapoe warned that such acts of rigging in previous historical elections in Liberia led to war and conflict.

“The passage of this bill will clearly indicate that the Senate is working with the Executive, headed by the President to rig this election,” said Dr. Whapoe.  

“They want to work in the favor of President Weah to rig the election. We see this as unconstitutional, unprovoked and criminal in nature,” Dr. Whapoe continued. 

He added that this action if taken will violate the human and constitutional rights of Liberians, therefore, the bill should be stopped right now.

The VOLT political leader threatened to file a complaint with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States Government, the European Union (EU) and other international partners if the Senate passes the bill.

He expressed fear that the result of the 2023 elections will not be satisfactory to the Liberian people if this bill is passed.

The graduate lecturer also pointed out that they will take a very strong stance and diverse positions against the Senate if the bill is passed.

‘The Senators have put themselves together with a mandate from the president so that they could pass a bill that would enable them [to] dismiss and retire all election magistrates across the country,” Dr. Whapoe lamented.

He claimed that the purpose of this bill is to reappoint CDC magistrates to spearhead the pending elections.

But Dr. Whapoe warned that this is very detrimental to the country, describing the bill as criminal in nature and only intended to give the CDC an opportunity to appoint partisan magistrates to rig the elections.

“All of those magistrates… are properly trained and there has been no fraud on their part over the time for which you want to dismiss and retire them,” Dr. Whapoe lamented. 

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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