14 November 2017

Liberia: Freeman Wants Imam Council, CSOs to Intervene in NEC-LP Legal Battle

MPC standard bearer calls for efforts to resolve the current LP-NEC saga to ensure a smooth transition in 2018 while Imam Krayee looks on.

Simeon Freeman, standard bearer of the opposition Movement for Progress Change (MPC), yesterday called on the leadership of the National Imam Council of Liberia, heads of political parties, representatives of civil society organizations and members of the Liberia Council of Churches to intervene in the ongoing legal dispute between the Liberty Party and authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to pave the way for a smooth transition in January 2018.

Freeman made the appeal yesterday during a special consultative meeting that brought together women's groups, officials of the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC), chiefs from the Traditional Council of Liberia, representatives of the Crusaders for Peace, the National Imam Council of Liberia and representatives of political parties and civil society organizations.

He said he believes that their intervention would help to resolve the current political impasse in order to move the country forward and protect Liberia's hard earned peace.

Yesterday's meeting was intended to form a group or union that would engage the various contending parties whose legal actions have now kept the runoff election in limbo.

"Instead of waiting for the outcome of the legal proceedings, it would be important for us to encourage the various parties to come together so that we all can talk with them to find a way around the core issues raised, because the outcome of this process might be more troubling for us, especially the rerun process, for which money is not available," Freeman said.

Currently, there are 56 election-related cases at the NEC, a number that is likely to rise taking into consideration the number of reports surrounding the poor execution of the October 10 polls.

But, said Freeman, if it becomes clear that the probability of holding an election is withheld, other parties might do things that would hurt the entire process, noting that intervention remains cardinal to a peaceful transition.

He said while the political impasse continues, prices of basic commodities have escalated, thereby putting businesses in dire straits.

As a result, Freeman said "business people will continue to increase prices in the absence of new commodities on the market. The people will suffer to the extent of what the impact would be at a certain point. I want to appreciate NEC, the legal recourse the Liberty Party took, the decision from the Supreme Court and the action by the Coalition for Democratic Change by remaining peaceful."

Meanwhile, Ali Krayee, head of the National Imam Council of Liberia, said the council is prepared to work with any institution that wants to harmonize the political impasse between the Liberty Party and the NEC.


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