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UP lawmaker threatens NEC: There will be no by-election in Lofa

By Lincoln G. Peters

Opposition Unity Party (UP) Representative for Lofa County Electoral District #3 Clarence Massaquoi has warned the National Elections Commission (NEC) that there will be no bye-election conducted in the county if the NEC does not rethink its decision to include the candidate listing UP’s senatorial hopeful, Galakpai W. Kortima.

Unity Party and a faction of the opposition Liberty Party chaired by Mr. Musa Bility and the Alternative National Congress under the CPP banner are before the NEC on account of CPP’s request for the electoral House to forbid the UP and the All Liberian Party (ALP) to register candidates in their own names for the Lofa bye-election.

The Bility LP faction and the ANC believe that a clause within the controversial framework document of the crumbled Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) would disqualify UP and ALP from fielding candidates in the Lofa by-election after withdrawing their memberships from the opposition bloc.

But UP insists that it is not a signatory to the controversial CPP framework document submitted to the Elections Commission by embattled Bility and the ANC.

ANC political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings is currently facing criminal trial after being accused by ALP political leader Benoni Urey of allegedly tampering with the CPP framework document and illegally attaching his (Urey’s) signature to a photocopy version.

Cummings has always denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Representative Massaquoi warned that they will use every means legal, permitted and allowed under Liberia’s democratic process to stop the by-election in Lofa County.

He stated that the NEC’s action against UP will be resisted by all the energies they have because they have taken enough from the commission.

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The National Elections Commission has released the provisional list of aspirants to participate in the upcoming Lofa Bye-election. The list excludes Unity Party’s candidate Galakpai W. Kortima.

The NEC has named Momo Cyrus, Mariamu Beyan Fofana, Kpator Joseph Jallah, Sumo G. Kupee and George Beyan Samah as potential aspirants for the Lofa Bye-election.

But the opposition lawmaker Mr. Massaquoi told journalists after a hearing of the ongoing election case at the NEC headquarters in Sinkor Wednesday, 13 April 2022 that they have gone out of patience and they will make sure that there will be no election in Lofa if the NEC excludes UP’s candidate.

He said even though they cannot tell the ruling party’s involvement in the matter, the Unity Party will not sit back and watch anybody thwart the peace of this country.

Representative Massaquoi said the country’s democracy and fragile peace are under serious attack by people who he claimed are undemocratic.

Representative Massaquoi further indicated that people want to use the country’s already weak system at the National Elections Commission which is allegedly occupied by partisan commissioners.

“To contest in [an] election is a constitutional right. Only the court can deny or guarantee that right. But in this case, while the case is still ongoing the NEC has posted provisional listings that essentially deny the UP and its candidate,” Representative Massaquoi

“Let me send these words fourth, and I want our international partners to hear this, that our democracy is under attack and the UP will not take it lightly,’’ Representative Massaquoi warned.

Rep. Massaquoi said by denying UP’s candidate, the NEC has bitten more than it can swallow because the UP will make sure that the bye-election is not conducted in Lofa County.

He continued that the NEC and every other member of the CPP are aware of UP’s withdrawal from the CPP, and therefore, the party cannot be held for a clause in the document that was allegedly altered.

“We did not sign … any document that talks about denying us. Article 8 they are talking about and raising is what we are against because we did not sign … anything,” said Massaquoi. 

“Therefore, it cannot hold us. We have taken enough and any attempt we will resist. This is how elections [are] rigged and we will not sit for that to happen to us,’’ he concluded.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/up-issues-threat-against-nec-if/

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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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