Nyonblee Blames NEC for Crises in LP -As She “Submits Corrected” Copy Of Constitution

Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence has accused the National Election Commission(NEC) for what she called the “unfortunate role it played and continues to play in fueling the intra-party conflict rocking the Liberty Party, adding that the problem in the party today may not have reached thus far, had NEC acted properly within the scope of its rules and regulations.

“Today, it remains a searching question why NEC, having received the Farmington Report in which the parties committed to correcting the constitution, insisted on recognizing the instrument as an authentic document, and why The NEC is still getting involved with guiding our corrections process ?

She said apart from the NEC’s Guidelines that clearly provides how political parties should file convention reports, the NEC’s rules also frown on, and regard as an offense, the submission of false and misleading information to it. “Why did it flow with the 2021 Constitution, even after the facts were made available to it?” She asks.

“By its handling of this matter, NEC has not only proven its dishonorability and partiality in this matter, but has also raised the red flag against itself. 2023 is such a defining moment for the peace of Liberia. Wè will not leave it to chance. Hence, in the coming days and weeks, wè will engage stakeholders from a broad spectrum of the society in the view of forming a consolidated position on the NEC, as is currently constituted”, Madam Lawrence noted.

Senator Lawrence took a swipe at the electoral body yesterday, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, when she addressed the media to inform the public that she has submitted the corrected version of the 2021 Constitution to the offices of the Justice in Chamber, Cllr. Jamesetta Wolokollie in compliance to the mandate she handed down to the officials of the party during a conference held on Friday, April 29, 2022 in the wake of a writ of prohibition filed by her against Messrs Musa Hassan Bility and Martin Kollah first respondents and the National Election Commission(NEC) as second respondents.

“On Friday, April 29, 2022, the Supreme Court Justice In Chambers, Her Hon. Jamestta Wolokollie, mandated the National Elections Commission to return the controversial 2021 Constitution to our party in order to ensure its correction in line with the Farmington Memorandum signed by Mr. Bility and myself, and attested to by members of the National Advisory Council.

“We are pleased to announce that we have concluded the process in keeping with the mandate of the court, and have resubmitted the corrected version of the constitution in keeping with the Farmington MOU and The NEC regulation 3.4 (d) which states: “ Within 10 days following the convention a political party shall submit to the commission a list of its national and local officials, including those of the national executive committee indicating the political subdivision that each of them represents. Said submission shall be under the signatures of both the chairperson and Secretary General of the convention committee”, she said..

Senator Lawrence who stated that she could not get the cooperation of Mr. Bility to work together as was mandated by Cllr. Wolokollie, said she communicated with The National Elections Commission to again formally withdraw the altered constitution submitted by Mr. Bility and Mr. Martin Kollah, and also  communicated with all the signatories to the Farmington MOU including Mr. Bility for a meeting at 9am today to ensure that the proper corrections in keeping with the MOU are made and signed for resubmission to The NEC.

“As the  meeting was about to start, we received a text message from Mr. Bility informing us that he and his team worked with The NEC yesterday to correct and resubmit the constitution in our absence,  in fulfillment of the 72 hours mandate which he thought expired yesterday. We informed Mr. Bility, that in keeping with the Liberian civil procedure law section 1.7 the 72 hours does not include Sunday and therefore expires today; sent him a copy of the law and encouraged him and his team to attend the meeting. Also he was informed that NEC has no jurisdiction over our corrections process, and doing it together as a party was in keeping with the mandate from the court, The NEC regulation and The Liberty Party Constitution. Up to the end of the 72 hours today, there was no response from Mr. Bility”.She stated

Senator Lawrence who was speaking at the media briefing in her capacity as political leader of the party  said  that Mr. Musa Bility was not the Chairman of the convention and should not have signed and submitted the constitution to the NEC and still has no such authority to sign and resubmit after the alterations are changed to the actual versions.

“Fellow partisans and members of the public, I wish to inform you that our actions in the past several weeks and months were not about pursuing the option of a zero sum game. With the decision from the Supreme Court, which represents a significant step in the direction of setting the Liberty Party on its proper course, I am appealing to all partisans to cease all hostilities, on the social and conventional media as well as in other forms and manners. In the days to come, wè will take specific actions intended to heal the Party and move forward.

“Fellow partisans, I wish to conclude this statement by informing you that all other legal matters before the Lower Court remain. Pending their resolution, I again, call for calm amongst our partisans. Of paramount importance, those of us who hold leadership roles must take the lead as wè endeavor to bring calm to the Liberty Party”, she concluded.

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