8 August 2017

Liberia: Bethesda Wins NHS Debate Competition

Bethesda Christian Mission High School, rated as an underdog during the start of the Liberia Inter-High School debate competition, has emerged as the winner after beating Liberia Dujar High School.

The debate, staged over the weekend at the Monrovia City Hall, ended when the judges announced that Bethesda won by 80-72 points against Dujar. The schools debated on the topic 'whether section 5.1 and 2 of the Code of Conduct should have been implemented or not during this election.'

The closely fought final, turned out in favor of Bethesda when one of Dujar's presenters made a slip up in her argument. Bethesda, on the negative side of the argument, noted that this particular section of the law seeks to disenfranchise certain groups of people from enjoying their constitutional rights.

Although the CoC is constitutional, this particular section, if implemented, would have violated Article 21 a of Liberia's 1986 Constitution, which states that "No person shall be made subject to any law or punishment which was not in effect at the time of commission of an offense, nor shall the Legislature enact any bill of attainder or ex post facto law," Bethesda said.

However, Dujar argued that the CoC was enacted to promote democracy and foster harmony, which should have been implemented. Dujar took the affirmative side of the argument that the CoC was in no way meant to deny people from participation, but to rather set the rules straight.

Quoting Article 90 (C) of the Liberian Constitution of 1986, Dujar said the constitution authorized the Legislature to prescribe a Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees including "stipulating the acts which constitute conflicts of interest or are against public policy and punishment for violation thereof." Pursuant to this constitutional provision, a Code of Conduct was enacted into law.

Beulah Nimene, a student from St. Michael Catholic School, won the 'Most Eloquent Speaker,' but lost the MVP title to John Singbae from Bethesda.


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