Chief Justice Cautions Judges With Political Interest to Resign
Monrovia – As Liberia gradually draws to the 2017 election, Liberia’s Chief Justice has asked staff of the judiciary to resign if they have interest in politics.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo/ [email protected]
Chief Justice Korkpor said judges and magistrates could resign from the judiciary, if they wished to contest the upcoming elections so as to create space for others who want to fill the gap.
He cautioned them to stay away from politics on grounds that they are to serve as impartial referees.
“I want judges out of politics, yes, you have one vote keep it to your chest; yes, I’m talking from experience, we had a situation when some magistrates tested the waters and put their hats in the race, because they were in remote areas the information didn’t come to the judiciary but later it came; in the process they abandon their courts they were three, one won and two lost.
The two that lost came to court like business as usual, but we removed their names from the payroll, this should not happen to you,” Chief Justice Korkpor said.
“You are not a member of any political party, you don’t belong to any camp, this message is very important so that we will not be seen as partisans and as I said, if election matters come to you decide on it promptly so that if it has an appeal process it can go to the proper forum.”
During the Supreme Court Opening, Justice Korkpor in his charge said that justices were not taking vacation off so as to swiftly determine election cases.
He further stated that the rebirth of democracy in the country is now and the court is the fulcrum which must remain on course.
The Chief Justice boasted that he was proud of the court despite its numerous cries on increment of salaries, benefit and so forth.
“Let me say since I been on the Supreme Court bench we have worked, steadily and improving the lives of judicial workers not only the judges but everybody. [When] We came here salary was nothing; I don’t want to call figures but every year we have fought to be able to be carrying to the level where it is now.
He reminded judges and magistrates to perform their responsibility diligently and efficiently as they call for salary increment.
Chie Justice said: “This means there should be corresponding attitude on your part, commitment to work, passion for your chosen profession, so that as you ask for benefit, there is improvement in the work that you do. You can’t ask for salary increment and you know are under performing.
“So I urge you to be able to come to work on time to be able to divorce yourself from people’s cases to be able to decide the cases and must only be based on the facts and the applicable law. When you do that who will not want to make a case for you, but if you don’t then don’t come back to me,” he stressed.