Elections Commission Hits Back

...Takes Issues With Several Political Parties

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted July 16, 2004

"The National Elections Commission (NEC) is constrained to comment on an article under the caption "CRPP DECLARES VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE IN NEC" published in the Monday, July 12, 2004 Edition of the Inquirer Newspaper Vol. 14 no. 120.

"In said article, the Reformation Alliance Party (RAP), The People Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL), The Labour Party (LP), The Liberian National Union (LINU), The True Whig Party (TWP), The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), The Equal Rights Party (LERP), and the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) who are allegedly allied under a self-styled CONSOLIDATED REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES (CRPP) claimed that Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris, Chairman of the National Elections Commission, and Co-chairman James M. Fromayan are members of the Unity Party while Commissioner Jonathan Weedor is said to be a member of the Liberian National Union. The CRPP release further alleges that the termination of Commissioners Fromayan and Weedor ties with their former political institutions are deceptive and cosmetic. They also added that Chairman Morris along with Commissioners Fromayan and Weedor are engaged in partisan politics at the Commission.

"The NEC wishes to make it abundantly clear that its Commissioners are individuals of integrity who are impartial and above partisan politics. As such, the baseless and unsubstantiated allegation made by the so-called CRPP should be relegated to the garbage bin. The Commission further wishes to note that as far as its records are concerned, there is no political alliance in Liberia called CRPP and, it is therefore illegal for any individual or institution to claim membership to it. Hence, the NEC will not hesitate to use the full force of the law to ensure that illegal practices regarding the electoral process are halted.

"Granted that such a group existed, it is not clothed with the authority to determine the composition of the National Elections Commission. That responsibility rests squarely with the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Civil Society Organizations, and the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) under the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. There is no law in Liberia that states if an individual was ever a member of a political party, he/she can not be qualified to serve on the Elections Commission.

"According to Section 2.5 of the New Elections Laws of 29 September 1986, "Before assuming office, each commissioner, elections officers and employees of the Elections Commission shall solemnly subscribe to an oath renouncing allegiance to and severing all connections, affiliations and relationships with his/her own or any other political party during his/her service or tenure with the commission."

"Accordingly, we want to reemphasize that Commissioner Weedor who was once member of the Liberian National Union (LINU) sincerely terminated his ties with that institution and, was subsequently confirmed by the NTLA, a body that comprises representatives of the purported CRPP. It is a tragedy that the CRPP would claim that Chairman Frances Johnson-Morris is a "confirmed" member of the Unity Party (UP). Contrary to their malicious allegation, the NEC boss has never been a member of any political party in Liberia. Moreover, at no time has Co-chairman Fromayan ever been a member of the Unity Party as claimed by the CRPP.

"As much as the Commission is opened to inclusiveness evidenced by its interaction with stakeholders in the political process over the past months, the NEC will not allow its tolerance to be grossly abused by confused and misguided institutions whose leadership may be equated with disciples of anarchy. The fact that these parties would select to make baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against individuals with proven tract records, clearly authenticates the weakness of character among them. It is a sad commentary that politics in Liberia has stooped this low.

"The NEC, as well as the Liberian people is aware of the track records of the leadership of the self-styled CRPP during our recent bitter past. It is an open secret that the authors of the CRPP press statement are individuals who are committed to their personal interests rather than those of the Republic of Liberia. They are jittery now that peace is gradually returning to Liberia because they can only thrive in a situation of chaos and anarchy.

"In conclusion, the NEC is calling upon the Liberian people in general, and the press in particular to be mindful of agent provocateurs whose mission is to attempt to derail the progress that has been made by the Commission; a progress that is being applauded by well meaning Liberians and members of the International Community. We want to assure the Liberian people that the NEC will not be perturbed nor distracted by unwarranted attacks of such nature emanating from individuals whose commitment to the growth of democracy in Liberia remains questionable. The Commission will work to ensure that those who participate in the game of politics behave responsibly. These attacks will not prevent us from staying the course," the NEC release issued yesterday concluded.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.