Big Protest Looms Over Liberia -CPP Demands Voters Roll Cleaned

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In the aftermath of the Supreme Court denial to honor the Writ of Mandamus filed recently by the opposition Collaborating Political Parties for the National Elections Commission (NEC) to clean up the 2017 Voter Roll and redo the just-ended voter roll update, the CPP has announced that it will begin a sustained nationwide protest on Monday, October 28, 2020.

 

“This protest will continue until our demands which include but are not limited to cleaning the Voter Roll, cancelling and properly re-doing the just ended fraudulent voter roll update, and other issues of national concern affecting the lives of our people, are addressed,” the CPP stated Thursday in the press release.

 

The CPP said its decision comes at a time when Liberia is on a path of imminent decay as the systems continue to fail the Liberian people. “We cannot overemphasize the importance of having free, fair and credible elections. We cannot overemphasize the importance of protecting your votes and ensuring that your voices are heard at the ballot box. A fraudulent and rigged election could be detrimental to our peace and stability,” Liberia’s foremost opposition bloc noted.

 

The CPP further disclosed that it has already stated engaging other political parties, pressure groups, civil society organizations, among others, to join them to protect the voters’ rights and fight for free, fair and transparent elections. “We call on all Liberians, home and abroad to join this effort and mandate the government and its NEC to implement our demands in order to protect your votes and rescue the country from further decline,” the CPP averred.

 

The CPP call for the sustained protest comes in the wake of the Supreme Court of Liberia denying to hear its Petition for Writ of Mandamus intended to compel the National Elections Commission (NEC) to clean up the 2017 Voters’ Roll.

 

The Collaborating Political Parties of Liberia (CPP), comprising the All Liberian Party (ALP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), Liberty Party (LP) and Unity Party (UP), had earlier issued a statement on Wednesday October 7, 202 saying it is outraged and offended by the brazen warning from Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh who stated to the CPP and the opposition community that challenging the integrity of the current electoral process is an exercise in outright futility, a warning which the CPP believes clearly implies that “the Supreme Court is wanting in courage, grievously stricken by a lack of independence, and overcome by external political considerations and maneuvers.”

 

The opposition bloc had stated that by Associate Justice Youh electing to situate herself, the authority of her office and the Supreme Court between the CPP and the NEC, and thereby undertake to effectively shield the NEC from answering to what is truly and unavoidably at the heart of the credible conduct of the ensuing Mid-term Senatorial Elections, the Associate Justice has confirmed to the CPP that the Supreme Court has parted with its sense of neutrality and fairness to decide matters of grave and urgent national concerns. The CPP said it is conclusive to believe that by extension the Supreme Court has invited the opposition to accept the absence of the rule of law in the country, and engage in mass political actions intended to preserve Liberia’s democracy which was gained on the blood, sweat and tears of many Liberians, and friends of Liberia.

 

“What the CPP cannot ignore, however, is that the decision of the Supreme Court has undermined the credibility of the upcoming elections. In our Petition praying for the Issuance of a Writ of Mandamus on the NEC, we did not ask the court, nor did we require Associate Justice Yuoh to undertake any exemplary display of courage in the exercise of the authority and functions of her office. Having failed in our repeated attempts to get the NEC to clean up the Voters’ Roll of 2017, and to assure us, by credible evidence, that it has done so; we felt constrained to simply petition the court, through the Office of the Associate Justice, to compel the NEC to clean up the Voters’ Roll of 2017,” the CPP had argued.

 

The opposition bloc noted that strangely, this cleanup exercise which they were asking the Supreme Court to compel the NEC to undertake was (i) instructed by the Supreme Court of Liberia on which the Associate Justice was privileged to be seated, on December 7, 2017;  (ii) Recommended by an ECOWAS Technical Support Team deployed to provide “critical assessment of the register of voters”; and (iii) as recently as June 5, was directed by the Joint Resolution of the Legislature with a force of law.

 

“In flagrant disregard and wanton neglect of the aforesaid imperatives, the NEC is again seeking to take our nation down a dangerous and unhealthy path – a road along which Liberia’s interests in consolidating its peace, stability, security and democracy would be best served, by avoiding. While the CPP is seeking to call the NEC to the responsible ordering of its priorities and respect for the rule of law, so that the ensuing conduct of the Mid-term Senatorial Elections and Referendum would be seen to be free, fair and credible, Associate Justice Yuoh is offering the NEC protective covering to flout the law with impunity and take our country down a dangerous path,” the CPP had earlier stated.

 

The CPP said it felt compelled to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court as a matter of legal recourse after it had exhausted every available opportunity to impress upon the NEC the critical and urgent need the electoral body has to undertake in the important duty of cleaning up the Voters’ Roll of 2017.

 

“Simply put, the current Voters’ Roll, absent a cleanup, is defective and cannot form a basis for the conduct of credible Mid-Term Senatorial Elections and Referendum. As such, we had hoped that the court would have found the courage to minimally require the NEC to present evidence of a cleanup that the Supreme Court itself directed and ordered, or have the NEC explain its continued recalcitrance and negligence to perform this vital undertaking in responsible preservation and consolidation of Liberia’s democracy. Unfortunately, Associate Justice Yuoh leaves the CPP with the regretted impression that the Supreme Court cannot be relied upon to independently perform its constitutional role of anchoring our young democracy,” the CPP further intoned.

 

The opposition group said as a consequence of these actions, the faith of the CPP in the integrity of the institutional framework for the elections is shattered, and that the CPP is without confidence in the capacity and integrity of the NEC and the Supreme Court to deliver free, fair and credible Mid-term Senatorial Election and Referendum in our country.

 

“In dismissing our Petition the Associate Justice, and by extension the Supreme Court has invited the CPP to accept the absence of the rule of law in the country, and engage in mass political actions intended to preserve Liberia’s democracy which was gained on the blood, sweat and tears of many Liberians, and friends of Liberia.

 

“The CPP will not allow the conduct of any fraudulent election that presents high and dangerous risks to our nation’s peace, security and democracy until the voters roll is cleaned and measures are taken to create a level playing field for free and fair elections.

 

“We urge the international community and friends of Liberia to intervene in the quagmire that the decision of Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh for what it truly is – dangerously provocative, and profoundly disruptive of Liberia’s peace and democracy,” the CPP noted.

 

Regarding other issues of grave national concern, the CPP noted that while the issues surrounding the ensuing Senatorial Elections are paramount to the long term peace and security of our country, the opposition bloc is equally concerned about the growing wave of mysterious deaths across our country; the recent bogus confirmation of Mr. Maxwell Kaymayah as Foreign Minister against widespread public outrage about his unresolved sexual harassment allegations, and what seems to be the biggest passport scandal in the history of our country.

 

“These mysterious deaths notably began with the death of Mr. Matthew Innis, a Senior Staff of the Central Bank of Liberia whose murder happened at the peak of investigations into the misapplication of CBL’s USD 25 Million mop-up fund. The recent deaths of Mrs. Gifty Lama, Mr. Albert Peters and Mr. George Fahnboto, under circumstances similar to those of Mr. Innis, is troubling to say the least. This is no longer an isolated case of accidental death. It presents a pattern of the mysterious deaths of people who earned their stripes for being professional, principled and uncompromising financial auditors.  They have died at a time our nation is bereft of people of their kind. It is even more mysterious that all these people worked at two of government’s biggest financial institutions- the Central Bank of Liberia and the Liberian Revenue Authority,” the CPP noted, and called on the Government of Liberia to commission an Independent Investigative Commission to probe these deaths and report to the People of Liberia promptly. We would like to remind the Government of Liberia of its foremost constitutional responsibility of providing security for all Liberians.

 

“The Government of Liberia cannot continue to remain silent in the face of the embarrassing revelations being made by Mr. Andrew Waplo; alleging the dubious wholesale of Liberian Passports to criminals and people suspected and listed by some of our International Partners for terrorism, money laundering, etcetera. The silence of the Government of Liberia on a matter that impinges the integrity of the Presidency and its failure to begin investigating some of those being named by Mr. Waplo, particulary former Foreign Minister Gbehzongar Findley under whose watch this allege criminal enterprise operated, is disturbing and telling,” the CPP further noted.

 

The opposition group also lauded the role of Liberia’s International Partners in ensuring that an amicable compromise was reached between the Government of Liberia and health workers who recently protested for decent working conditions and better incentives. “We particularly appreciate those health workers for listening to our calls for a compromise, and call on the government of Liberia to for once demonstrate the moral courage of living up to its side of the agreement.”

 

“Finally, the blatant refusal of President Weah to recall the nomination of Mr. Maxwell Kemayah as Foreign Minister of Liberia and his recent bogus confirmation in the face of serious sexual harassment allegation is outrageous. If the blatant refusal of the CDC to feature a single female candidate on its Senatorial Tickets didn’t tell the Women of Liberia about how insensitive this regime is to their plight, the confirmation of Mr. Maxwell Kemayan does.

 

“Fellow Liberians, our country is on a retrogressive path. Irrespective of political alignments and other social affiliations and statuses, it is time to rally a national People’s Actions to rescue our country. We believe a first step to doing so is for all of us to speak out and expose the ills, and as well reject anyone that bears the logo of CDC at the polls,” the CPP rallied.

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