Liberia: Sen. Prince Moye to Lead Peaceful Protest against NEC over UP Participation in Lofa By-election
MONROVIA – A National Executive Committee (NEC) member of the Unity Party (UP), Senator Prince Kermue Moye has threatened that the former ruling party will not tolerate the rejection of its candidate by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Senator Moye is representing the people of Bong County in the 54th National Legislature on the ticket of the UP.
He observed that Liberia has made significant progress in nurturing its democracy, but there exists few undemocratic elements that are bent on eroding the progress that has been made thus far.
According to him, the UP will not sit supinely and allow gains made towards the nurturing of Liberia’s young democracy to be tarnished by a specific group of people or individuals in the Liberian society for selfish or personal gains.
He made these comments when he appeared as guest on Joy FM Morning Show in Monrovia on Monday, April 25.
Senator Moye said recent ruling and proceedings rendered and being launched into the case involving the UP and the Musa Bility’s fraction of the Liberty Party (LP) are bias.
It can be recalled that the NEC, through its Hearing Officer, ruled against the UP in a case which was filed by the Musa Bility fraction of the Liberty Party (LP). Bility and his supporters are claiming that the UP is still a part of the CPP and as such, the former governing party should not be allowed by the commission to field a candidate in the Lofa by-election. However, the UP has filed an appeal to the Board of Commissioners in keeping with the election law.
But Senator Moye contended that the commission has no authority to ban the UP candidate from contesting.
“We have gone so far in nurturing our democracy to allow one institution or few individuals to destroy what we and our forefathers fought for. The Hearing Officer came down with a ruling that said NEC is not prohibited to complete the registration process of the UP candidate. I was quite astonished”.
He blasted at the commission for its failure to earlier launch a compliant into the counts, including forgery proffered by the UP for its withdrawal from the CPP.
He wondered why the NEC, which is the only agency in Liberia clothed with the authority to look into electoral matters and ensure that all political parties, alliances or collaborations abide by its constitution and by-laws, chose to play a blind eye to the indirect complaint filed by the UP for its withdrawal from the CPP.
Senator Moye noted that despite the decision taken by the UP, the NEC has been officially recognizing the former ruling party up to the time the party filed the nomination paper for its candidate for the Lofa County by-election.
The by-election in Lofa was triggered as a result of the conviction of former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai by the Supreme Court of Liberia in relation to the misapplication of funds belonging to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), along with two others.
Senator Moye noted that the NEC is under obligation to respect and uphold all signed documents to govern all political institutions in the country, but failed to do so with the CPP framework document, which the UP believes was allegedly forged and submitted to the commission.
He indicated that those having problem with the UP’s candidate should take advantage of the court, instead of depending on the commission to prevent the party from participating in the process.
“Is NEC a court now? What I do know is only the Circuit and Supreme Court can prohibit”.
According to him, the commission does not even have the original copy of the framework document which was signed and submitted by the CPP.
Senator Moye observed that the commission has been biased in carrying out its assigned tasks and responsibilities as evidenced by its failure to look into the counts submitted by walking away from the collaboration
“We did not sign the framework document and so, how will the Bility’s fraction write NEC for advice? Why the team of lawyers of NEC did not look into the complaint that we filed to leave the CPP? They were only keen on looking at our US$10,000 bank balance, looking at our new political headquarters and bond”.
Association is voluntary
Senator Moye justified that one’s association with an institution or group is done on a voluntary basis.
He said the commission should also be held liable for playing a blind eye to the clause within the framework document submitted to the body by the CPP which disenfranchises the rights of others.
“The constitution recognizes free movement and association. Are you not infringing on the rights of people? NEC should be under obligation to protect the rights of people. We will not tolerate it because the NEC has already been compromised. Davidetta Brown Lansanah is already compromised to the fact that she stood her ground in 2020”.
“NEC has no authority to deny; they should have placed our candidate name on the provisional listing and whoever feels that we signed to a document that prevented us from doing so should proceed to the court”.
Senator Moye pointed out that the ex-ruling party will stage a protest to petition Liberia’s international partners on the matter.
He said the party will draw the international community’s attention to the situation and the compromised posture the NEC has allegedly taken ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.
“If you look at violence in this country, it has root to electoral processes. And I am telling this government because we are all part of this government. Our partners are here to help us in many ways and so, if we feel strongly that an institution (NEC) has started to be compromised, we have to raise the red flag to tell them that this is the beginning of a very serious problem that will happen in 2023. We want them to take the necessary actions to safe our democracy”.
Senator Moye observed that there are some unscrupulous individuals trying to “maneuver the system” through the court and other means to satisfy their ulterior motive.
He stated that the UP peaceful nature in addressing or finding solutions to the situation should not in any way be seen or misconstrued as a weakness.
He emphasized that it is binding on all Liberians to maintain the peace and stability of the nation, but the UP will not tolerate the rejection of its candidate for Lofa by-election
Back for good?
Senator Moye was one of the legislators who have not been acting in keeping with the opposition UP’s position on key national issues.
A case in point is the request for the printing of new bank notes by the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government, through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
Though the UP, which was part of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) at the time, mandated its lawmakers not to sign a resolution for the printing of new Liberian banknotes, Senator Moye was among the scores of other CPP lawmakers who affixed their signatures to the document.
“I have a serious role to play in my party politics and I am back to serve my party in every other capacity. Whatever it takes for Unity Party to stand up, we are going to do that”.
I have no regret
Senator Moye abandoned his Deputy Speaker post to contest for the vacant senatorial seat in the county during the past senatorial election.
He used the occasion to commend his constituents for the confidence reposed in him.
According to him, citizens of Bong are reaping the benefits of their votes cast in his favor during the election.
Senator Moye noted that his ascendancy to the Senate is providing the necessary developmental initiatives and empowerment for citizens, including youth and women in Bong.
“The transition was worth making and my people from Bong made a decision that I will never forget. I have nothing to pay them back but to continue to serve them. That was the only election that I didn’t print t-shirts or buy motorbikes”.
He indicated that most citizens of the county could not have the opportunity to interact, proffer suggestions and concerns as well as benefit from his developmental initiatives if their request for him to represent them at the Senate was downplayed or rejected.
“Thanks to the people of Bong County for electing me and thanks to the Unity Party for having me leave that position to contest for a seat in the Senate. I have no regret because some of the things I have done across the county-if I had remain as a Representative or Deputy Speaker they could not have had the opportunity to enjoy what I have done”.