It is over for Dr. Mills Jones and others who are trapped under the weight of the Code of Conduct (COC) law. In the 2023 presidential elections, we will be talking about precedent set under the COC law and the finality over the law based on this ruling by the Supreme Court of Liberia on March 3, 2017. And so we move on to the potential next hurdles: the 10-year residency clause and the dual citizenship role of contestants. Take the issues to the Supreme Court for fast-tracking before October 10, 2017 or else...
Mills Jones does not stand a fighting chance. This is not pre-1980 to use is "privileged" Congua influence/background to scuttle the Liberian constitution. And the Supreme Court of Liberia of today is not the Supreme Court of Liberia of pre-1980; the "so-say-one, so-it-all" dogma of the corrupt and exclusive club of the True Whig Party. Wipe your tears Mr. Jones for this is not the end of the world.
You look at the composition of the post-war or post-1980 Court and that tells you we have moved on and left the old ugly past behind. But traces of the old order continue to raise their ugly heads with their dreaded tentacles. That was evident in the COC ruling.
Call me by any name all you want but I care less about any political correctness. The Supreme Court has fundamentally shifted gear from its pro-congua leaning Johnnie Lewis Bench to a more pragmatic, liberal and constitutionalist interpretations under the Francis Kporkpor Bench. Well, a long overdue approach and makeover. Before 1980, the Court was all Congua.
Of the five Justices on the Supreme, three are natives and two congua. Do you think it is by accident that the two Congua Justices (Phillip Banks and Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie) voted against the popular COC law to side with wannabe lawbreaker Mills Jones and others? The majority three Justices including Chief Justice Francis Kporkpor, Ja'neh and Yuoh are natives. Hello! These Justices are old enough to remember how the system was skewed against natives and favor the congua. But this decision by the Court was judicious and had no bearing on ethnicity because the plaintiff also is native. Justice must be blind regardless.
The COC law is clear and simple and you don’t need a PhD to understand it. "Resign from your appointed taxpayer job 2/3 years before the date of the next elections." Yet, those who claim to be "educated" in America are the ones who are claiming "exemptions."
For example when former Foreign Minister Agustine Nganfuan resigned from his post in order to satisfy the COC provision, Dr. Mills Jones was asked by the Press if he was contemplating to follow suit? His reply then was: "we will cross that bridge when get to the bridge," he retorted. Well, the COC has erected a roadblock before the bridge and now Jones and company must wait for the construction of a new bridge scheduled for completion before the 2023 elections.
Mills Jones doesn't have a case and his disciples who are preaching gloom and doom if he is excluded based on the COC law simply are engaged in fruitless political posturing, and any attempt to destabilize our short period of transition from violence to peace will be met with the full weight of the law. Jones was fully aware of the COC law but intentionally and purposefully ignored it. Ignorance is not an excuse of the law and the constitution has no room for vagrants, sympathizers and cry babies. What is good for Peter (Nganfuan) is also good for Judas (Jones).
|NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoyah|
Equally so, voters are happy to hear from the Chairman of the National Elections Commission Jerome Korkoyah when he vowed to abide by the Supreme Court decision in enforcing the COC law. What is wrong with a law that says if you want to run for elected office you must resign from your job in the Executive Branch of government so that you don’t use your office assigned vehivle or vehicles, staff and other office resources to help your campaign? And Mills Jones is clearly guilty of violating the COC law.
As for Cummings the question is also the same. Why didn't he resign from his BWI Board job, or why even did he accept the job in the first place? Cummings is a victim of ignorance and ignorance is no substitute for violating the law. Cummings spent a lot of money but he could not hire a lawyer to advise him on the dos and don’ts of elections law? Sorry Mr. Cummings. And now Cummings will learn the COC law the hard way. As for the rest, just wipe your tears and go home or take your individual cases to the Supreme Court. But certainly, the pool of candidates is made narrowed by the Supreme Court ruling.
About the author: Jerry Wehtee Wion is a Journalist and Political Commentator Washington, DC, USA