Liberia: CDC Senatorial Aspirant Will Have to Resign Govt. Post before Election
MONROVIA – The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change’s (CDC) candidate, Ms. Paulita Wie, may have to resign her position as Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs, if she is to contest the Montserrado County senatorial by-election slated for July 2, 2019.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Failure of her part to do so would be in violation of Part V, 5.2 (c) of the National Code of Conduct for Public Officials.
Part V of the Code of Conduct sets restrictions for government officials appointed by the President who desire to contest an election.
Section 5.1 says “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 partisan or political activities; c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.”
5.2 Wherein, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 herein above, desires to canvass or contest 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 Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections;
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 (3) years prior to the date of such public elections;
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 position within thirty days following the declaration by the National Elections Commission of the vacancy.
Her counterpart on the party’s ticket for the District 15, Abu Kamara, was rejected by the National Elections Commission (NEC) when he applied to contest in the 2017 elections. He was then a Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Transport.
Though he contested the NEC’s decision before the Supreme Court, his lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson was slammed by the Bench for disregarding a previous ruling on the Code of Conduct involving former Bong County Superintendent, Selena Polson, who contended that the Code of Conduct was in contradiction to some Articles of the 1986 Constitution. Ms. Polson was also rejected from contesting in the 2017 election due to her position as Superintendent.
A political pundit who preferred not be named told FrontPageAfrica that the clause of the Code of Conduct calling on officials of government contesting a by-election to resign 30 days prior to the election is irrational.
“What is the essence of the person resigning 30 days before the election when they can file in all their paper works prior to 30 days before the election.
The NEC has up to a week after submission to clear aspirants who have filed their nomination forms.