Liberia: River Gee County Representative Francis Dopoh Blasts President Weah Over 'Violation of Constitution, Election Law

Monrovia — Representative Francis Saidy Dopoh (UP, District #3, River Gee County) has accused President George Weah of constantly violating the Constitution and electoral laws of Liberia.

Rep. Dopoh said from illegally declaring a state of emergency, President Weah is now campaigning prematurely in favor of all of the propositions in the upcoming December 8, 2020 referendum.

But the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe termed Dopoh's accusations as frivolous.

Illegal State of Emergency

According to Rep. Dopoh, President Weah was in 'grave violation' for upholding the state of emergency after it did not meet legislative approval.

Dopoh had earlier complained about the President's 'illegal' imposition of the state of emergency to House of Representatives through a communication to Speaker Bhofal Chambers. And days later, the President rescinded the measure.

However, Dopoh maintained that despite the lifting of the state of emergency, the President was still in violation of the law because the measure should not have been upheld after the he failed to convince the Legislature for approval.

He said the President's continued disregard of the Constitution is an 'act of arrogance' and an indication that he is being ill-advised.

"The President exhibited what I would call a level of arrogance. Constitutionally, it was wrong. To even go on his website saying that he is lifting the state of emergency is a violation. The fact that it was not even in place, the fact that he did not obtain the two third, it was wrong," Dopoh stated.

He continued: "I just think people around the President should do him justice. They should tell him what is right. If they don't understand it, they should not put him against the Liberian people."

Illegal Campaigning

Speaking further, Rep. Dopoh says the erection of large billboards and paintings depicting the President's images and messages in support of all of the four propositions outside of the official campaign date was wrong and illegal.

"Currently there are individuals placing billboards around when the Election Commission has not even served the rate of election. Yet, they are placing billboard around for referendum and say 'President says vote yes.' That is wrong. What if other people decide to start campaigning now, saying vote me, vote Dillon or vote Fallah? This is another violations of our law."

Responding, to Rep. Dopoh's assertions, Minister Nagbe called on the River Gee County lawmaker to seek redress at the Supreme Court if he convinced the President was in error.

"Let him file a lawsuit at the Supreme Court, if he believes there is a violation. I am not here to waste my time on frivolous accusations," Nagbe debunked in a respond to FrontPage Africa.

The Weah administration has been pushing for the amendment of portions of the Constitution including Article 50 of the Constitution to provide for the reduction in the tenure of the President from six to five years; Senators from nine to seven and members of the House of Representatives from six to five years.

The Referendum is also seeking to amend Article 28 of the Constitution so that any person, with at least one parent holding Liberian citizenship, at the time of the person's birth, shall be a citizen of Liberia without having to decide at age 18; and also to provide for dual citizenship.

Despite the National Elections Commission (NEC) designating the period from October 10, 2020 to December 6, 2020 as campaign period, the Government of Liberia has already began calling on voters to vote yes to all of the propositions.

All across Monrovia and its suburbs, giant-sized billboard and paintings of President Weah with messages calling on voters to vote yes to all of the propositions are on displayed.

At VAMOMA Junction on Tubman Boulevard, a painting of the President on the walls of the Sinkor Pentecostal Church called on voters to vote yes to all of the propositions.

Meanwhile, Chapter Five of the 'National Election Commission's Regulations and Guidelines Governing Political Parties And Independent Candidates' adopted in 2017 barred "political parties, aspirants, candidates, or others acting on behalf of, or in the name of an aspirant or candidate from campaigning outside the campaign period."

The regulation defined campaign as "any activity of an aspirant, candidate, political party, coalition, alliance, political movement or others done for the purpose of electing or promoting an aspirant or candidate for elective public office."

FrontPage Africa contacted the NEC Spokesperson Henry Flomo to get the election House position but Flomo said his institution will officially respond to the series of concerns that are being raised regarding the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections and national referendum at a press conference scheduled to take place next week.

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