14 November 2017

Liberia: Sen. Wesseh Cautions Politicians, NEC

River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh warns politicians here and authorities at the National Elections Commission to be mindful in handling the ongoing electoral fraud investigations or else, it might lead the country into serious constitutional crisis.

Senator Wesseh over the weekend at his Dupot Road residence in Paynesville, says any delay in the current investigation at NEC, which could cause the saga not being resolved within 30 days, might run the country into democratic assault.

He warns that witnesses should not delay in making their case or the commission should ensure the matter lives within the given constitutional timeframe.

Currently, there are 65 electoral cases pending before the Liberia NEC, which should be resolved before the conduct of the presidential run-off election.

Commenting on fears about formation of an interim government, if the transitional timeframe elapses without an elected President, Senator Wesseh says it is impossible for anything such as interim, referring to Article 64 of the Constitution of Liberia, which according to him, does not talk about failure of holding run-off election, and therefore, creates no room for power-sharing arrangement.

Article 64 of the Constitution states, "Whenever the office of the President and of the Vice-President shall become vacant by reason of removal, death, resignation, inability or other disability of the President and Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be sworn in as Acting President until the holding of elections to fill the vacancies so created. Should the Speaker be legally incapable or otherwise unable to assume the office of Acting President, then the same shall devolve upon the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate. In any further line of descent, the office shall devolve in order upon the Deputy Speaker and members of the Cabinet in the order of precedence as established by law. The Elections Commission shall within ninety days conduct elections for a new President and a new Vice-President."

Sen. Wesseh explains that if the matter is not resolved within 30 days, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will hold-on until the conduct of the election. He argues that everything remains constant, and there will be no legislature on grounds that the House of Representatives was part of the election and there are new folks that were elected, but have not taken oath of office, thereby making the legislature half, as the other branch, the Liberian Senate cannot do anything in the absence the House of Representatives.


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