LAP Wants Sect. 15 of Election Law Amended
By. Charles Crawford
The National Chairman of the Liberia Action Party, Madam D. Sheba Brown has stressed the need for the National Election Commission (NEC) to amend Section 15 of the 1986 Election Law of Liberia.
Speaking to this paper yesterday at the end of an inspection tour by NEC’s Commissioner Mary Brownell and her team to the offices of the LAP, Madam Brown said LAP’s call is due to the fact that section 15 of the 1986 election laws is not in conformity with the constitution of Liberia which calls for freedom of movement and association.
Section 15 of the election law mandates political parties to seek approval from the Election Commission before engaging in any political activity.
Commenting further, the LAP Chairman criticized that portion and called on NEC to include it among that which needs to be reformed, adding "section 15 of the election law is contrary to and inconsistent to the fundamental rights of Liberians guaranteed by the Liberian Constitution. And so, there is a need for NEC to proceed by amending section 15, and bring it conformity with the constitution, and also the issue of the 10 years residential clause needs to be scraped off. We need more election reform!".
Touching on the pending 2005 election, Madam Brown said LAP has explicit confidence in the present composition of the National Election Commission(NEC), and has no doubt in the NEC’s ability to conduct a free, fair and transparent elections come, October 2005, adding that "LAP will co-exist and work with NEC to achieve the commission’s objectives."
She underscored the need for the Charles Gyude Bryant-led transitional government in collaboration with the international community to repatriate and resettle Liberians residing in refugee and displaced camps, while admonishing Liberians to play a more proactive role in the pending election activities.
On the issue of what kind of election to be conducted in Liberia, Madam Brown said LAP believes and maintains its stance on the majoritarian system of elections for the position of president, vice president and senators, while the proportional representation system can be used for the members of the House of Representatives.
The LAP Chairman also used the occasion to call on other political parties that share the same objectives, platforms and ideologies to form a merger, alliance, coalition or collaboration for the sake to avoid confusing the general public during elections season, adding "we in the Liberia Action Party believe in coming together with other political parties."
The purpose of Commissioner Brownell and team’s visit to the offices of LAP, according to Madam Brown, was to inspect the party’s headquarters located on Buchanan Street, and ascertain LAP’s bank account, constitution and by law, Article of incorporation, list of party officials, registration documents, etc. LAP officials that were on hand to receive the NEC’s team were Cllr. S. Izetta Wesley, Executive Committee member, E.C.B. Jones, Assistant Treasurer, Samuel Prowd, Assistant Secretary, and A. T. Natt, Executive Committee Member.