Two Liberian Political Parties Sue Election Commission

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

June 2, 2003

Two of the country’s 18 registered political parties have requested the Supreme Court to put a halt to the holding of the forthcoming elections this October.

The grand Old Trug Whig Party (TWP) and the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), in a petition for a writ of prohibition filed with the Supreme Court, said Article 83 (A) of the 1986 Constitution which provides that election takes place on the second Tuesday in October of each election year cannot hold.

The two parties said this provision of the constitution cannot be complied with in view of attacks by LURD and MODEL in Lofa, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Nimba, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and River Gee counties.

The petitioners contended in their petition that the international community has said that the rebel groups control 60 percent of the country, which they said makes it impossible for them to canvass and campaign for its candidates consistent with the guidelines of co-respondent, the Elections Commission.

The two parties said predicated upon this, prohibition on the elections is therefore the proper remedy to stop the illegal holding of elections on the part of the respondents.

The petitioners further said in their 12 count motion, that in order for any government to be credible to the citizenry and accepted by the international community, it must be elected as a result of a free, fair and transparent elections stressing that to conduct elections in the midst of war as maintained by the respondents is an attempt to impose illegal government which will not be for the people and by the people.

The parties said in addition to the war, the respondents are barred from traveling internationally to negotiate for any needed items or funding for the conduct of the elections as a result of the sanctions and travel ban.

They further said that respondent are not capable to hold a credible elections on October 14, 2003 and therefore, the respondents should be stopped from carrying out their illegal plan.

Earlier, the True Whig Party (TWP), the oldest political party in Liberia, by itself filed a writ of prohibition with the Supreme Court of Liberia, petitioning the court to prohibit the Election Commission from carrying out elections 2003.

The writ indicates that because of the prevailing security situation in the country, it is impossible for the TWP, or any party for that matter, to canvass and campaign in many parts of Liberia.

Additionally, the True Whig Party believes that in order to successfully conclude the issue of governance in Ghana, there is a need to have this problem of the postponement of the election settled one way or the other.

Meanwhile, the TWP is liaising with all 18 registered political parties, asking them to intervene in this action through their own preferred legal representative, a TWP release disclosed.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.