UP mounts more pressure on NEC
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia’s former vice president Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has intensified pressure on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to include Unity Party’s (UP’s) Lofa Senatorial candidate on the commission’s candidate listing, warning that he will do all to ensure that no Lofa citizen will again be disrespected and disenfranchised.
Mr. Boakai told a press conference in Paynesville Thursday, 14 April 2022 that he smelled a sinister attempt to deprive the former ruling Unity Party of fielding candidates in the Lofa senatorial by-election and the pending presidential election due 2023.
“Let me also make it clear: the wrongs we are fighting to correct in Lofa will not also be accepted in any other political subdivision in Liberia,’’ Mr. Boakai continued during the press conference at his residence in Rehab.
Mr. Boakai complained that the NEC under the leadership of Mrs. Davidetta Browne-Lassana, over the last twenty-four hours had released the Lofa County senatorial by-election Race Provisional List.
He said the Unity Party takes notice with very serious concern that the name of its candidate, Mr. Galakpai W. Kortimai, is not among those being cleared as one of the Provisional aspirants, even though he has met all the requirements provided under Liberia’s election’s laws and the Constitution.
But Boakai warned that he expects that there will be no final listing from the Elections Commission published for the Lofa County by-election senatorial race that will not have the name of the Unity Party candidate, adding that he expects the NEC to do the right thing.
Boakai said in the strongest of words that he remains resolute on his “unflinching commitment to the people of Lofa, UP partisans, and supporters around the country and the Diaspora, that under his leadership as Unity Party standard bearer, not one Lofa citizen will be disrespected again.
“…[As] your leader and torchbearer I am sufficiently prepared and will do all within my means to ensure that not one Lofa citizen will again be disrespected and disenfranchised under my leadership during this 2022 bye-election Lofa senatorial race,” he said.
Unity Party and a faction of the opposition Liberty Party chaired by Mr. Musa Bility along with the Alternative National Congress (ANC) are before the NEC on account of the CPP’s request asking the electoral body to deny the UP and the All Liberian Party (ALP) from registering candidates in their own names for the Lofa by-election.
Bility 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 CPP.
But UP insists that it is not a signatory to the controversial CPP framework document submitted to the Elections Commission by embattled LP Chair Bility and the Alternative 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.
Mr. Boakia warned that any attempt by the NEC to exclude the Unity Party from its legitimate and constitutional rights to contest as a registered political party will be a direct infringement of the political participation of hundreds of thousands of Liberian voters.
He suggested that no Liberian will be disenfranchised, gullible, and subsequently exposed to matters that could have national security concerns.
Boakai continued that Unity Party is also concerned that any delay in giving its candidate his full clearance is a deliberate plan to delay his campaign and give the others undue advantage.
“Let me emphasize again that the Unity Party and people of Lofa have had enough, and will NOT continue to accept being insulted, disrespected, and disenfranchised by the Weah government,” Boakai noted.
“Make no mistake that our position taken in the disenfranchisement of Lofa citizens in the case of Senator-elect Brownie Samukai, was not from a position of weakness,” he added.
He argued that NEC, by the way, was set up to do the right thing and to avoid election chaos at all times.
The former vice president cautioned that as he awaits the final outcome of the NEC’s Nomination Committee Scrutiny Panel, he prays that God will guide the decision-making of all those involved.
“Let us together do everything to keep Liberia peaceful,’’ he urged. ‘’We take serious note of the reason given by the NEC and we are therefore following very keenly and critically the activities of the ongoing hearings at the NEC Headquarters.”
Boakai noted that while UP’s capable team of lawyers is making quality representation on the party’s behalf, the party nevertheless is aware of the undertones of the hearings which smelled of a sinister attempt to deprive the Unity Party of fielding a senatorial candidate in Lofa and the presidential elections, among others.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/up-lawmaker-threatens-nec-there-will-be-no-by-election-in-lofa/