13 October 2017

Liberia: 'Supreme Court to Ensure Peaceful Transfer of Power'

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Justices of Liberia's supreme court

Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor says the Supreme Court has an extremely important role to keep the country stable and on the path of democracy and ensure a peaceful transfer of power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's to another democratically elected government.

Justice Korkpor said the Supreme Court is ready to dispense fairness, transparency and impartially in all cases that will emerge from the October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

"We give further assurance that the wishes of the Liberian people, as expressed through their ballots, will be fully respected. Elections are about mass participation for the electorate to decide; no court will act otherwise to suffocate the process," Korkpor said recently at the opening of the October 2017 Term of the Supreme Court.

He noted that the court is manifested through the fair application of the rule of law to ensure protection for all.

"We are quite aware that in order to avoid recourse to dissent and rebellion as experienced in our recent past, the rule of law must be based on the principle of justice where the freedom of the individual is guaranteed," the Chief Justice assured.

The rule of law must provide a framework for the exercise of free choice and equal opportunity, he said, adding, " we in the Judiciary will remain focused and fair in our judicial actions and decisions. We will abstain from all political frays and alignments during these elections in order to remain above reproach and uphold our independence and neutrality.

"It is important that by our judicial actions and decisions, we create an enabling environment for the free and fair conduct of the elections," he acknowledged.

"Our first loyalty is to our nation, Liberia. As such, we share mutual binding obligations to ensure that our country is safe and on the right path to democratic governance," he stated. "As Liberians, we are of one common body politic, irrespective of our political ideologies and or persuasions."

The chief justice emphasized that "there is a strong consensus that democratic governance creates a stable environment in which businesses can thrive, and an impartial court system can exist that are more responsive to public needs."

He further stated that "democracy has checks and balances: an open flow of information, transparency, zero tolerance for corruption, smooth leadership succession, and more predictability with a firmer commitment to the rule of law."

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