Elections Commission Taken Aback by LAP’s Statement

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 6, 2004

“The attention of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been drawn to a Special Press Release by the Liberia Action Party (LAP) dated April 2, 2004 and published in the May 3, 2004 edition of The INQUIRER (Vol. 14 No. 73) categorically denouncing and vehemently rejecting what it (LAP) considers as an attempt by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to circumvent and dishonor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) relative to what the Party (LAP) says is a rejection by the NEC of the Co-partnership role of the international community in the planning, organizing and conduct of the 2005 elections.

“The LAP Press Release has taken Chairman Morris’ induction Speech out of context by giving the impression that the NEC is opposed to jointly working with the international community in the conduct of the 2005 general and presidential elections in Liberia. What the NEC Chairman referred to in the speech is the ambiguity in the CPA with respect to the role of the NEC vis-a-vis the international community. Hence, the National Elections Commission (NEC) considers the Liberia Action Party’s statement as an attempt to discredit the NEC and an effort to create a rift between the NEC and the international community. While the NEC is committed to a cordial working relationship with all political parties and other stakeholders, the Commission wishes to make it abundantly clear that it will not tolerate the politics of mis-representation from any political party.

“In paragraph 4 of Chairman Morris’ address under the sub-topic “THE ROLE OF THE NEC VIS-A-VIS THAT OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE 2005 ELECTIONS” it is made crystal clear that the “NEC envisages the role of the United Nations, ECOWAS and other members of the international community to be one of support, facilitation, and collaboration with the NEC rather than a role which would have the effect of supplanting the National Elections Commission (NEC)”.

“The Commission is therefore taken aback by LAP’s malicious and unpatriotic interpretation of the above statement as a dishonoring of the CPA relative to the role of the international community in the conduct of the 2005 elections rather than an endeavor by the NEC to ascertain its role under the CPA.

“With reference to the NEC ultimatum to Political Parties engaged in illegal campaign activities to desist in 48 hours, it is the position of the NEC that its decision is consistent with section 15 of the 1986 Elections Laws and that said decision remains binding. While the NEC is fully aware of its responsibilities under the CPA including that of reforming the electoral laws of Liberia, the Commission wishes to make it crystal clear that the existing 1986 electoral laws shall remain enforce pending the promulgation of new electoral laws. Furthermore, the reform shall be done in consultation with Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, the International Community and other stakeholders.

“Finally, the National Elections Commission (NEC) wishes to inform all political parties and the Liberian people in general, that the Commission is fully prepared to work with all Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, the International Community and other stakeholders in the conduct of the 2005 elections,” a release issued by the commission said.

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