Avoid Unnecessary Delays In Electoral Disputes
ON WEDNESDAY THIS paper quoted a press release from the Carter Center Election Observation Mission, in which the Center said delays in the proceedings of election complaints have often been caused by political parties themselves requesting additional time or not being fully prepared at the time of the hearing.
THE RELEASE POINTED out that in hearings to date, all parties to the complaints have been given sufficient time to prepare their cases and be heard before the adjudicating bodies.
FURTHERMORE, THE CENTER noted that the Supreme Court ruling into the Liberty Party complaint against the National Elections Commissions (NEC) on Monday means a significant delay in the Liberian presidential run-off originally scheduled for November 7, 2017.
THE CARTER CENTER reiterated its call for all political parties to reaffirm their commitments to a peaceful process and ensure that their supporters maintain calm and exercise patience as they await resolution of electoral disputes.
IT SAID ALTHOUGH the timing for the remainder of the electoral process is now uncertain, the continued delays could raise concerns about constitutionally mandated timeframes.
THE CENTER COMMENDED the NEC for ensuring transparency throughout the tabulation process and noted that the results by polling station have been posted on the NEC website for public scrutiny.
THE CARTER CENTER urged all political parties with pending disputes before the NEC or the Supreme Court to do their part to ensure efficiency in the process. Similarly, the Center urged the NEC and the Supreme Court to review all matters expeditiously.
WE JOIN THE Carter Center in pleading with political parties to avoid the delays as doing so could cause unnecessary problems in the electoral process. Additionally, NEC has also accused political parties of using delay-tactics. This is serious because “justice delayed is justice denied”, therefore, the parties should take note to avoid any unnecessary crisis.
ADDITIONALLY, WE STATE in all uncertain terms that all of us must all help to maintain the peace we are enjoying for years and that political parties must be reminded of their fulfillment of the Farmington Declaration where all presidential candidates signed the agreement to maintain the peace.
LET IT BE known emphatically that the peace can only be maintained if all parties keep calm, avoid the unnecessary delays and exercise patience and restraint as they await resolution of electoral disputes from NEC. Let’s keep Liberia peaceful and stable!!!.
Let Those Who Have Ears Hear And Act!
The United States Embassy accredited near Monrovia has issued a statement in which the world’s greatest democracy on earth indicated that it has confidence in the integrity of the just ended October10, 2017 general elections.
In the statement issued, the Embassy said no accredited Liberian, regional, or international observation group suggested that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process.
The U.S. Embassy said it was inspired by 1.5 million Liberians who expressed their commitment to and faith in democracy by voting in the October 10 elections. Furthermore, it underscored the importance of a peaceful transfer of power to a new democratically-elected President in January, as reflected in Liberia’s Constitution.
The American Embassy urged the National Elections Commission (NEC) to undertake corrective actions before, during, and after the run-off election where issues were identified in the first round of voting.
The statement advised that the top two finishers, who collectively received the support of two-thirds of Liberian voters, to focus on constructively engaging each other and voters as they prepare to compete in the run-off.
The Embassy said that it appreciates that parties are availing themselves of the legal right to dispute resolution, however, that with rights come responsibilities. The Embassy said Liberia’s political leaders should take their cue from the citizens who waited patiently to vote and did so with respect for their fellow citizens, regardless of political views.
However, the Embassy indicated that efforts by any actor to impede the expressed will of the Liberian people for personal ambition could risk goodwill and future investments in Liberia by international partners.
We believe that the US statement is objective and we urge the NEC and all parties to consider it in the best interest of Liberia and parties including the NEC to do everything expeditiously, but rightfully so that the country can remain stable.
We reaffirm our call for adherence to the rule of law in the adjudication of all electoral disputes and the protection of our democracy, but we frown at the unnecessary delay which could undoubtedly lead to instability and other problems.
We commend all political parties and independent candidates for taking the path of the law in seeking solutions to their grievances, rather than resorting to acts and actions such as violence, outside the law.
We also hail other international observers including ECOWAS, AU and others for their objective statements which have kept Liberia peaceful for a pending peaceful transition.
Let those who have ears hear and act immediately so that Liberia can remain stable and peaceful as we await the transfer of power to a new democratically-elected President in January, as reflected in Liberia’s Constitution.