The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

‘Gov’t Must Not Employ On Party’s Mandate’ … Says Former Chief Justice

By Grace Q. Bryant
The former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Frances Johnson-Allison is advising that the Weah-led Government does not make it a requirement that people join the ruling party simply because of jobs.
Speaking over the weekend at the National Elections Commission formal Roundtable dialogue on the Senatorial Elections-2020 on the sub-topic; ‘Policy recommendations can be advanced for consideration by government, civil society organizations, international partners to sustain peace, promote national reconciliation and achieve social cohesion,’ Madam Johnson-Allison said such mandate by this government is not constitutional
According to her, elections are at most times triggered by conflict therefore, they are to be carefully managed in a way that brings integrity to the process reminding, “As we move toward the 2020 Senatorial Elections, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of 2017.”
Cllr. Allison said the purpose of electing governments is to unite the people and not to divide them, noting, “When you become President, you are a President for everybody and every citizen must benefit from the entitlement that that country has through your leadership.”
She quoted Article 77 (a) of the 1986 Constitution which states; “Since the essence of democracy is free competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the political opinions of the people laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one- party state shall be declared unconstitutional.”
She revealed, “Elections are not about violence instead they are about free and competing ideas and if your ideas make sense to the people, they will buy into it therefore the idea about fighting and injuring others in elections is undemocratic.”
“We have only one President and the policy should come from him and not observers,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Liberia National Bar Association, Cllr. Bobby Livingstone, added that the critical benchmark for any electoral process is the legal framework.
He noted that there is an existing gap between how the NEC cooperates with political parties as well as its application of the electoral laws and that is something that needs to be addressed as the Commission gets prepared for the 2020 election.
The roundtable discussion is intended to engage the perspectives of different political parties and networks of Civil Society Organizations including women and youth organizations in a framework of dialogue with the sole purpose of formulating roadmap for inclusive and peaceful senatorial elections in December.
The roadmap is aimed at defining strategies and crucial areas that will help relevant government institutions including the Liberia Peace Building Office, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights(INCHR) as well as the Office of the National Peace Ambassador (ONPA) and the National Centre for Coordination of Early Response Mechanism (NCCRM) in order to work with political parties for the special senatorial elections and set the basis for the Presidential and Legislative Elections in 2023.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.