By Grace Q. Bryant
The Supreme Court has termed the Collaborating Political Parties’ (CPP) recent statement regarding constitutional violation as reckless, irresponsible and bears on iota of truth.
The CPP recently took the National Elections Commissions (NEC) and the Supreme Court to task over what it considered delays in the certification of one of its candidate when his victory was announced since December 13, 2020.
In its statement issued over the weekend, the CPP said the delay is a deliberate and unjustified violation of the Liberian Constitution and that the case between candidate Senator-elect Simeon Taylor and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate, Victor V. Watson, has become endless with attempts to disrupt the peace, security, and democracy of the country.
The CPP expressed that officials of the NEC and the Supreme Court, which have jurisdictional authority to investigate election complaints, have raised questions of public trust in their abilities to uphold and defend the Constitution of Liberia.
The parties therefore urged the NEC and the Supreme Court to stop all violations as actions and consequences breeding from such deliberate actions that are never in the best interest of peace and national security and that Grand Cape Mount County will be of no exception.
“These two agencies will be fully responsible shall there be any actions that will undermine the peace, security, and democracy of our country,” the CPP’s statement advanced.
But the Supreme Court rubbished the opposition political parties’ statement stating that it is just another attempt by politicians to unduly draw the court into politics and frowned that such comments set the people against the court and undermines respect for the rule of law.
The high court maintained that the constitutional duty of the court is to hear and decide all appeals from the Board of Commissioners of the NEC in election cases with the assurance that the true desire of the people, through their votes, is protected and upheld.
“In all such cases, fairness is the prime objective and in executing this constitutional mandate the court has the exclusive power to affirm, reverse or modify decisions of the NEC; the court may also reverse and remand cases with instructions to the NEC to conduct further investigations in such election cases where the court determines that the investigation conducted by the NEC were not thorough and conclusive for a fair decision,” the court explained.
The Court further explained that an appeal from the ruling of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC in the referenced case was taken to the Supreme Court by the CDC; the case was argued and the court rendered an opinion within the constitutional timeframe of seven days after hearing.
The high Court clarified that the case was then removed from the Supreme Court back to the NEC and since then, no party has filed a complaint with the court regarding the execution of its mandate given to the NEC neither has any party returned to court on an appeal.
The Supreme Court also said the constant threatening statements by politicians against members of the court and subordinate courts are becoming common in Liberia, pointing out, “Especially knowing the vulnerability and gullibility of the Liberian people and to denigrate the court, incite members of the public to violence, chaos and instability whenever cases are not decided in their favor.”
“These actions of politicians have brought members of the Liberian Judiciary, including justices and judges to personal danger in recent times,” the court reminded.