Liberian Senate to Intervene in Ongoing Electoral Impasse
Monrovia – The Liberian Senate has said that it has closely been following the situation surrounding the Presidential and Representative Elections held on October 10, 2017.
Report by Henry Karmo [email protected]
The Senate also stated that they recently had it as a subject of debate during consultation at a Special Retreat held at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.
According to a statement from the Senate Press Bureau, the retreat was aimed at strengthening democracy and its relevant Liberian institutions and consolidating peace in the country.
The Senate statement reads: “In doing so, the Senate recalls that Liberia was plunged into war with itself for 14 years (December 1989 to August 2003) ignited by elections-related disputes resulting into the death of over 250,000 people, internal and external displacement of over 40 percent of the population, the destruction of hundreds of millions of US dollars of economic and social infrastructure and incalculable catastrophic impact on the life of the people as well as rendering our country a failed and pariah state and turning Liberia into the epicentre of the armed conflict system of the Mano River Basin.
“Further recalling that Liberians from all works of life including political, civil society, women, youth and students and armed/warring faction leaders met in this country and many parts of the world concluding at the three-month long negotiations held in Accra resulting into the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in which Liberians pledged, undertook and committed to resolving all conflicts through peaceful means; an Agreement, which Liberians have been keeping faithfully for the past 14 and half years;
“Fully appreciates that during all the years of war and peace, Liberia has, with immense gratitude, counted on and benefited from the solidarity, generosity and support of the governments and peoples of the West African sub-region, the African region and the international community, as well as non-governmental and philanthropic organizations;
“Feels proud that during the years, Liberians successfully and peacefully held two Presidential and Legislative Elections and other by-elections.”
The Senate’s statement furthered that following the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections, as would be expected, some individuals, groups and political parties are expressing dissatisfaction with the outcome and have availed themselves to the processes provided by the Constitution and Election Law of Liberia.
The Senate admonished all aggrieved parties not to do anything that may have the propensity to disrupt the peace, security and stability of the country.
The Senators encouraged the National Elections Commission (NEC) to expeditiously adjudicate all matters brought before it within the constitutional timelines; being mindful that the Liberian people represented by the National Legislature, shall not support nor encourage any act by any group or institution designed to undermine the constitution thereby creating conditions for unconstitutional governmental structures as experienced during the 14 years of war.
The senator, during their retreat, resolved that they will consult with all relevant political and other national leaders as well as with regional and international partners with the aim of resolving disputes arising out of these October 10 elections and to assure the people of Liberia and the world that Liberia remains at peace and will strictly follow the constitutional course in the transfer of power
The 30-member Senate appointed several senators to a Special Committee headed by Mr. Armah Zolu Jallah, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, to pursue its mandate as indicated in the statement.
They include Sen. J. Gbleh-bo Brown – Maryland County; Sen. Peter Coleman – Grand Kru County; Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence – Grand Bassa County; Sen. Conmany B. Wesseh – River Gee County; Sen. Oscar Cooper – Magiibi County and Sen. Marshall Dennis – Grand Gedeh County