Liberia: NEC Throws Out Sen. Karnga-Lawrence’s Complaint on Constitution Tampering

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MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) has instructed the Liberty Party (LP) to use its Internal Dispute Resolution mechanism in accordance with Section 3.3 of the election body’s guideline for political party regulation.

The NEC’c decision came following a conference Monday with executives of Liberty Party over alleged criminal changes to the party’s constitution.

This decision by NEC paves the way for the political leader Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence to constitute a committee to investigate alleged secret changes to the constitution in line with rules of the party.

The party’s chairman, Musa Bility, who had opposed any investigation along with Secretary-General Martin Kollah, is being accused of making ‘covert changes’ to the constitution that give him enough powers to “micromanage the Party and sideline its political leader”.

Bility and his secretary-general have denied any wrongdoing and insisted that there were no changes though the 2021 constitution the pair submitted shows many new provisions not sanctioned by the political leader.

Some of the powers stripped away from the LP political leader include; power to call for a special national convention and appoint all convention planning committees, the power of the executive council to adopt financial programs and political operations, the power to suspend or expel officials or members of the party.

On August 4, 2021 the political leader wrote NEC, withdrawing the 2021 constitution for “procedural bridges and potential alterations”.

Monday’s hearing at the NEC was attended by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, former Secretary-General Jacob Smith and other partisans who had vowed to resist changes to their constitution.

It was recently reported that the chairman and political leader of were in disagreement over the authenticity of the party’s amended constitution submitted to the NEC, hence, the political leader, Karnga-Lawrence, has withdrawn the constitution from the Elections Commission.

In a communication addressed to the chairperson of the NEC, Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansannah, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence stated that several laid out and accepted processes were not followed before the submission of the amended constitution.

According to her, the amended constitution submitted by Bility was neither reviewed nor approved by her.

 She stated that the minutes or report of the Special Convention which she presided over was also not reviewed or approved by her.

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