MONROVIA: While some presidential appointees may have resigned from their respective positions to contest various elective positions in compliance to the Executive Order #117 issued by President George Manneh Weah, the Chairman of the National Small Arms Commission, Atty Maxwell Grisby has said that there is no compelling reason to quit his position despite the fact that he will be contesting for the representative seat in Sinoe County, asserting that the laws of the land should be respected.
Speaking on a live talk show when he called to make an interjection about politicians jumping ship from one party to another for selfish gains outside of ideological persuasion, Grisby said there could be two reasons why he would resign his position and focus on his campaign just like others who have resigned to obey the executive order from the President, but as a man who believes in the rule of law, he cannot jump the gun to resign when there was absolute no reason to do so.
“I am not in the rush to do that. Obviously, there could be two conditions that could lead to my resignation. The first one could be the code of conduct bill as amended in 2022 which is not applicable to the election in 2023.
The second one could be the Executive Order, published by the President which is now under judicial review. So, there is no compelling reason to resign in urgency.
“The President’s instruction is respected by all of us, but the law must be respected because this country is governed by laws.”, he said.
Responding to a question whether his action is not in any way a flagrant disregard and disrespect to the President’s mandate, Grisby hastened to say that President Weah is “someone who believes in the rule of law and if you listened to him during the democracy summit in the United States of America, he said the strength of his government is in the rule of law and he supports all of those who abide by the law”.
“So don’t say what the President says, say what the law says. The President did not instruct anyone to resign; the President gave an order which is law.
“The President issued the executive order which is a law. There are agencies responsible to enforce the law. The President does not go from one office to another office. When a law is under review, people have to wait”, he said.
Grisby who insisted that the executive order was a law, also said it was not a cabinet decision and therefore no one was under compulsion to quit their position without any legal backing, adding that on April 4, 2023, with just 3 days to the expiration of the deadline issued by the President, the Supreme Court of Liberia issued a temporary suspension of the bill until at which time the case will be adjudicated and a final determination made.
Grisby, though a member of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) said he may not contest on the ticket of the party as he was not sure of the ticket being given to him but will be contesting as an independent for now.
“I am an independent candidate rather than a partisan candidate but that could change. I have seen clearly that I will not get the CDC ticket and I have decided to pursue my aspiration elsewhere”, he said.
It can be recalled that on or before the April 7, 2023 expiration date, a number of government officials including formerly Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) Moses Kollie, former Executive Director, National Identification Registry (NIR) J. Tiah Nagbe, former Inspector General at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Josephine Davies, among others resigned their positions to contest for various legislative seats in the October 10th 2023 elections.
The President’s executive order, issued on March 14, mandated all government officials desiring to contest the October 10 elections to resign before April 7.
According to the Executive Mansion, the President’s action was in accordance with Section 5.2 of the amended 2014 Code of Conduct.
However, Weah has faced significant criticisms for implementing the law within such a short period. Section 5.2 of the amended law reduces the resignation period for officials from a maximum of three years to just one year.
The President acknowledged the one-year resignation clause but pointed out that with only seven months left until the elections, the amended Act cannot prevent public officials from participating in the October 10 election.
Weah added that the executive order was necessary to establish a fair political playing field, citing national interest.
Comments are closed.