UP warns: Don’t threaten Liberia’s democracy
By Lewis S. Teh
As the people of Lofa County gear up for senatorial by-election in May, the Ex-ruling Unity Party (UP) warns authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be fair and transparent in handling matters currently before the Commission.
UP officials say any attempt by the NEC to stop the UP from putting up a candidate in the upcoming special senatorial election could lead to chaos
“We like to call on the National Elections Commission to be fair in their ruling upon conclusion of the ongoing hearing, any attempt to go on the contrary will threaten the democracy of this country which might lead to chaos”, officials of the former ruling party warned.
Head of Press and Public Affairs Ms. Cornelia Kruah Tokpa, gave the warning on Thursday, March 31, 2022, during a live interview on OK FM 99.5 alongside former Assistant Information Minister Whory Bryant of the Unity Party.
Both officials reveal that the current matter before the NEC involving the UP is to know the party’s status in the pending special senatorial election, and not a complaint as it is being perceived by the public and other opposition political parties.
“We hope the chairperson of the NEC is not using this case as a means of solving the corruption case being levied against her to blackmail the democracy of this country. We cannot afford to have similar situations that are taking place in neighboring countries where breakdown in constitution has threatened their various democracies”, Ms. Tokpa adds.
She notes that the constitutional breakdown in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and other countries has led to several unrests, saying “Here in Liberia, we will not allow people to put their selfish or personal interest above the country’s, therefore, the NEC should not even attempt to stop the Unity Party from fielding a candidate in the Lofa County special senatorial election.”
The former ruling party is said to be facing a legal battle at the NEC following a complaint filed by the chairman of the embattled opposition Liberty Party, Musa Bility.
Chairman Bility in his petition argues that the Unity Party has no legal ground to field any candidate for the upcoming special senatorial election in Lofa County, as provided by framework documents of the Collaborating Political Parties.
Ms. Tokpa continues that the only reason why the UP is participating in the hearing at NEC is due to the standing of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), and has nothing to do with Chairman Bility’s complaint, adding that as far as the UP is concern, Bility is not the legitimate chairman of the Liberty Party.
“We are participating in the hearing because the ANC is a signatory to the CPP framework documents”, she says, and argues that the letter written by the ANC to the NEC is an inquiry for the Commission to advise on the status of the UP, and the All Liberian Party, as it relates to the CPP, but such has been turned into complaint by the NEC, and “that’s exactly why we are participating in the hearing.”
The UP, LP, ALP and ANC had signed a framework document that binds the four parties in a Collaboration to field a single presidential candidate against President George Weah in 2023, but the UP and ALP pulled out of the marriage, while the LP is split in the middle with its political leader, Sen. Nyonblee Kangar Lowrance, following the breakaway faction headed by former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
The CPP framework document has a clause that bars any of the four parties from fielding a candidate independently in an election outside of the Collaboration hence, the current petition before the NEC.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/i-will-contest-2023/ Editing by Jonathan Browne