By R. Joyclyn Wea
The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) wants the Liberian Government to ensure that citizens have trust in National Elections Commission (NEC) so as to have an assurance that their will, when expressed at any elections conducted by NEC, will be reflected through a transparent and credible process, as per Article 1 of the 1986 Constitution.
The law states that “The people shall have right to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular to ensure that elections.”
Speaking recently, LNBA President Tiawon Gongloe mentioned that any appointment or commissioning of nominees at the National Election Commission would violate both the New Elections Law and Constitution and is likely to cause chaos.
Section 2.3 of the New Elections Law (1986), provides that only Liberian citizens having good moral character are eligible for appointment as Commissioners of NEC, is met by the appointees.
Cllr. Gongloe indicated that the lack of public trust in the conduct of elections and manipulation of elections of election results in the past triggered some of the country’s worst experiences.
He further recounted several events of the country nastiest experience to include the alleged forceful removal of President E. J. Roye that was partly attributed to the manipulation of the result of a referendum for the increase in the term of office of the Presidency and arbitrary postponement by him of a pending presidential election.
“The resignation of President Charles D. B. King and his vice president stemmed from the conduct of the most fraudulent elections ever in the world history in 1927 and recorded in the Guinness Book of Record as the most rigged election in the world history. It was rigging of the 1927 presidential election that led President King’s rivals to lodge a complaint to the League of Nations,” he narrated.
The rigged elections of 1985 Gongloe noted led to the brutal civil war in the country five years later.
The LNBA President emphasized that the lack of confidence in the electoral process and its results have been at the foundation of conflicts in Liberia.
“Our government must, therefore, take all measures consistent with law and the public good, to stimulate the trust, confidence in the integrity of the NEC to conduct a free, fair and transparent election, so as to prevent any threat to our fledgling democracy and introduce another fratricidal conflict in our country.”
Cllr. Gongloe explained that confidence in NEC starts with the nomination and confirmation of persons generally perceived by the voting population to be men and women of integrity, that are independent minded and experienced in decision making as well as ensuring that appointees meet the requirements of the law Liberian citizens that possess good moral character.
This comes barely a day prior to the denial of President George Weah controversial nominee Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike by the Liberian Senate.
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.