Defeated Montserrado County senatorial contender Madam Cecelia Cuffey Brown has been talking plenty. She says the newly launched All Liberian Party or ALP of businessman Benoni Urey, should be changed because as it stands it refers to even none-partisans as members.
But ALP Chairman Emmanuel Lomax says “Madam Brown wants recognition. Her statement worth no comment.” Madam Brown told state broadcaster ELBC on Monday, 9 November via live phone conversation that she has already filed a complaint with the National Elections Commission or NEC to challenge the government in regards to the party’s name “All Liberian Party registered by the electoral regulatory body here – the NEC.
She says her contention against the party’s name is the word “All,” which she interprets to mean “land, air, sea and people,” alleging that it takes away her right and sovereignty as a citizen to make an individual decision.
“I have contention with nothing else, I have contention with the word All. All takes away my individuality, it takes my right as a citizen – it takes away my right, it takes away my sovereignty to make an individual decision. So they cannot say All,” she claims.
She says it is false and misleading to say “All,” and therefore vowed not to let the case go even if it will mean spending all the money she works for to challenge the Liberian Government.
“I’m challenging the Liberian Government because the government is supposed to take care of my right; if my rights are trampled over, if I fell that my rights are violated … and I have written the appropriate entity – the National Elections Commission that registered a political party that says All Liberian People Party,” she claims.
She vowed to get lawyers that she can pay as well as Pro-Bono lawyers too in fighting this case. But in response to the NewDawn’s text message seeking comment from the ALP Monday, Chairman Emmanuel Lomax replied via text that “Madam Brown wants recognition. Her statement worth no comment.”
When also contacted yesterday, NEC Spokesman Joye Kennedy he was withholding response to the matter because the NEC has to see the legal basis of Madam Brown’s argument, and promised to follow-up on the complaint.
Mr. Kennedy however told the NewDawn via mobile phone that the Constitution here forbids certain things such as giving parties names that are tribal, religious or regional driven because they are supposed to be opened to everyone.
Liberia’s 1986 Constitution Article 79 (b) says “the membership of the association or the independent candidate’s organization is open to every citizen of Liberia, irrespective of sex, religion or ethnic background, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.”
Article 79 (d) also says “the name, objective, emblem or motto of the association or of the independent candidate and his organization is free from any religious connotations or divisive ethnic implications and that the activities of the association or independent candidate are not limited to a special group or, in the case of an association, limited to a particular geographic area of Liberia.”
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah