21 May 2012

Liberia: NEC Decides CDC Fate - Doe-Sheriff, Gray Battle for Authority

The fate of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC fielding a candidate for the Montserrado District #11 by-election is now in limbo following the party's late submission of nomination form to the National Elections Commission or NEC by 5PM Friday.

The nomination of candidate for the by election expired last Friday 5:00pm, but the CDC delegation arrived on the scene minutes late, something the nominating committee said was against their mandate for which they refused to accept application or package from the CDC, saying that until NEC's higher ups instruct them.

The explanation provided by the NEC nomination committee seemed not to have gone down well with the CDC delegation many of whom were youth-Thus within no time, group of young men believed to be supporters of the CDC launched a stinking attack on the building Gardnersville Town Hall which served as host to the NEC's nomination Committee throwing missiles both at the building and staffs of NEC.

It took the efforts of well-armed officers of the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberian National Police to save the day but few individuals sustained injuries. The district #11 slot was declared vacant by NEC following the mysterious death of CDC Representative Moses Tandapolie during a Legislative retreat in Gbarnga, Bong County on March 16 this year.

The Director of Public Affairs at the NEC Joey Kennedy told this paper Sunday that due to the protest, the Board of Commissioners has temporary suspended the package of the CDC pending investigation which is expected to take place tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at the head offices of NEC to decide whether the George Weah's CDC will be allowed to participate or not.

Mr. Kennedy told this paper via mobile phone that it is too early for people to conclude that CDC has been kick out of the pending by election. He indicated that the commission has no intention to deny any Liberian or political party of participation in the by election or any elections to come. But the political parties should follow procedurals in order to stay on course with the electoral house.

Meanwhile, the embattle National Chairman of the CDC, Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff said that the General Secretary, Representative Acarous Gray has allegedly refused to return NEC package to her for onward submission to the NEC office after the completion of the process that leads to the party putting up a candidate and to subsequently sign as chairman of the party.

She told the New Dawn Sunday via mobile phone that according to the statutory laws of NEC, the party chairman shall signature the final communication that recommends the candidate for participation, adding that if she does not sign the current document it would be considered invalid.

But Rep. Gray speaking to the New Dawn Sunday said that information provided by Sen. Sheriff is false and misleading. He said that he as chief scribe carries the responsibility of signing document intended for NEC and not the chairman of the party.

According to him, the authorities of the CDC no longer recognize Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff as partisan or National Chairman of the CDC. "She was expelled and I expect you as journalist to be aware of these developments", he said. But few weeks back, NEC clearly stated that they as election governing body recognize Sen. Sheriff as national chairman of the party.

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