SENATOR GEORGE WEAH struck an important cord over the weekend on the rule of law.
SPEAKING ON THE REJECTION of Liberty Party’s Harrison Karnwea as vice standard bearer to Cllr. Charles Brumskine and other aspirants of legislative and presidential seats, the Montserrado County Senator hit the right tone, we believe.
“EVERY COMPETITION I HAVE participated in my life, I have encouraged participation, not elimination. But be as it may, the law is the law and let the legal people do their work,” he said.
SENATOR WEAH AND HIS RUNNING MATE, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor are both not affected by the code of conduct which is surely causing lot of heartbreaks, leaving many to wail their hands to the heavens for divine intervention.
LIBERIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN perceived as a lawless country and those rejected by the code of conduct can as well testify to this.
THE NUMEROUS VIOLENCE ON concession sites across the country, the slapping of a female officer years back by a junior minister etc.
SOMETIMES IT IS TREATED WITH A SLAP on the wrist, leaving those seeking to replace President to often times go into an overdrive, charging out like a wild bull raging in a china shop.
FOR THOSE ASPIRING FOR SEATS that wield power in the country, the code of conduct was clear to all and sundry as to where it stands on their respective ambitions. However they chose to willfully ignore.
SECTION 5.1 AND 5.2 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT that provides that "All officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not (a) Engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices (b) Use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of parties or political activities.
THE COC ALSO STATES THAT SUCH PERSONS cannot (c) Serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaigns of any independent candidate.
SECTION 5.2 SAYS "WHEREIN any person in the category stated in section 5.1 desires to canvass or contests for an elective public position, the following shall apply.
"(A )ANY MINISTER, DEPUTY MINISTER, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a ) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Director, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two years prior to the date of such public election.
"(B) ANY OTHER OFFICIAL APPOINTED by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three years prior to the date of such public election.
"(C) HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF IMPEACHMENT, death, resignation or disability of an elected official, any official listed above desirous of canvassing or contesting to fill such position must resign said post within thirty days, following the declaration of the National Election Commission (NEC) of the vacancy.
SO, WHICH PART OF THIS CODE OF CONDUCT is so difficult our politicians including Harrison Karnwea and Jeremiah Sulunteh, to understand?
IT’S NO BRAINER THAT THEY DID not meet the threshold of the code of conduct and they should spare us the trouble of time and expense—on their part—by running to the Supreme Court for redress on the matter.
THE STANDARD BEARER OF THE LIBERTY PARTY is a seasoned lawyer and we believe it should have dawned on him from the genesis of this affair that Karnwea did not meet the threshold and there are partisans in his party, including Edith Gongloe Weh who are capable of winning much votes to land him the highest seat in the land he so desperately seeks.
THE TIME HAS NOT YET BEEN closed for nomination of running mates. That time should be used to find another running mate instead of running to the Supreme Court while the process elapses. As Senator Weah said, the law is the law.