By Esau J. Farr
-KOCU Executives Advances Electoral Reform Issue
The leadership of the Kokoyah Citizens Union is calling on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Liberia to petition the Legislature on the amendment of the Election Laws of the country.
Kokoyah in green color
According to a release from the Kokoyah Citizens Union (KOCU), it is taking keen interest with grave concern the issue of sitting lawmakers being allowed to vow for elective offices in the country.
According to KOCU, there was an amendment of the New Elections Law of 2013 prohibiting any sitting lawmaker, both Senator and Representative to contest for any vacant seat while still occupying another.
“We want to call on all Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and all peace loving Liberians to rise up and join our quest to seeing an improved electoral system critical for lasting peace and democracy to petition the 54th Legislature in ensuring that amendment is made to the Election Laws of Liberia barring all sitting lawmakers from contesting for public offices while at the same time occupying another public office without resigning,” a statement from KOCU read.
“We want any member of the Legislature wanting to contest for an elected public office to resign his or her position as a lawmaker at least two years ahead of said election,” the statement added.
The union believes that it is unfair and anti-democratic in this age and time for people to occupy public offices, using tax payers’ money against the very citizens who want for their lives to be improved adding that lawmaking is not unique to few group or select group of people as has been perceived by others in Liberia.
The 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the New Election Law of 2013 passed in 2014 and the Code of Conduct for public officials are all silent on the issue of barring members of the Legislature from participating in elected offices while still serving their elected terms something the union seriously frowns at according to the statement.
KOCU sees the act on the part of members of the Legislature to exclude themselves from resigning their posts two years prior to an election as being bias and self-seeking describing it as unhealthy for modern democracy and therefore should not be given place in the Liberian society. TNR