Liberia: UP, LP, ANC Leaders Accept Supreme Court Ruling, Albeit With Different Perspectives

Liberia’s Supreme Court says the first round of the country’s presidential and legislative elections were, to some extent, characterized by irregularities but says it has not been established that the malpractices warranted a rerun of the entire elections.

The ruling Unity Party through its standard bearer Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has accepted the Supreme Court final ruling on the run-off of the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Election and has urged the National Elections Commission to make public the Voters Roll and address other irregularities for to ensure a transparent run-off election.

Speaking shortly after the Supreme Court's decision yesterday at a press conference at UP's headquarters in Congo Town, he said the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and the final arbiter of the dispute, which has come down with its decision.

"We would therefore like to state without equivocation that the Unity Party accepts the ruling of the High Court. This decision, and the road we took with collaborating parties, are unprecedented and should give all of us hope that the future of our democracy and country is bright. Liberians can now celebrate the triumph of the rule of law! Liberians can now celebrate their resolved to pursue non-violent means of solving problems," VP Boakai said.

VP Boakai said in light of the deliberate and mischievous attempts by detractors to distort the intervention by UP and collaborating parties to ensure a transparent and clean electoral process, void of manipulation of any kind, he is constrained to set the record straight for the benefit of the Liberian people.

"The UP's intervening action in support of Liberty Party's challenge was not a selfish or opportunistic one, nor was it in any way a strategy to unnecessarily cause delay and prolong the electoral process, as alleged by detractors," he said.

On October 10 this year, Liberians trooped to the polls to fulfil their constitutional mandate, symbolizing a determination to consolidate the gains of peace and ensure that the democratic and inalienable rights were duly exercised.

He called on the National Elections Commission to adhere to the request made by the Supreme Court, especially in addressing the publication of the Voters Roll and other key issues to ensure a free, fair and transparent run-off election.

Vice President Boakai also called on Liberians to address their concerns and problems through the court of law and avoid every means of violence in the country, and recounted that in 1927, Liberia made history that earned her an unenviable place in the Guinness Book of Record with the most fraudulent elections in the world.

Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the opposition Liberty Party (LP), said he and his partisans are disappointed by the Supreme Court's ruling, which among other things, has violated "our equal protection right, as provided in Article 11(c) of the Constitution."

"The Court ordered the correction of some of the things that we complained of, that made the electoral process unconstitutional and unlawful that contributed to massive fraud, and pervasive irregularities, as conditions for holding the run-off, but failed to similarly ensure equal protection for the other eighteen political parties," Cllr. Brumskine said.

He noted that Liberia has come of age, adding, "Finally Liberians can disagree and not kill each other and destroy our country."

"I have always said, our legal action and pursuit of justice was not just about me, or just about the Liberty Party," he said.

He said the Supreme Court can rule against an aggrieved political party, and its judgment is accepted, notwithstanding "our disagreement, as to both the Court's determination of the facts and their conclusion of the law. Our people are truly witnessing the transition from negative to positive peace."

The standard bearer of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, said after all considerations, prayers, and consultations the ANC decided not to endorse any of the political parties for the run-off.

"We are asking all partisans to vote their conscience, and what they believe in their hearts to be right for the country given the two choices. This was not an easy decision, but one we believe serves the best interest of our party and the country," Cummings said.

Cummings said he is asking ANC partisans to demand from both candidates' four pertinent commitments that are core to the ANC's platform, including support for "Our continuous freedom."

"Liberians have enjoyed unprecedented peace and freedom over the last 12 years. I am asking that our partisans demand from whomever they support that they will sustain our peace and ensure that this freedom continues - specifically, freedom of speech and freedom of political association," he said. He also named the radical fight against corruption, empowering Liberian businesses and election reform.

Mr. Cummings said, "I remain committed to uplifting Liberia and empowering all Liberians. I will do this through business and philanthropy."

Authors

Gloria T. Tamba

Alvin Worzi

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