Former ruling opposition Unity Party (UP) Lofa County District #3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi, has threatened to stop the pending Lofa County by-election if the National Election Commission (NEC) fails to include the UP candidate, Galakpai Kortimal on its provisional list, or allow the party field an aspirant.
He was recorded saying, “We will use every means legal, permitted, and allowed under our democratic process to stop the election in Lofa County.” He added that NEC action against the Unity Party will be resisted by the collective energy of the party because it can not accept the decision of the Commission.
The National Election Commission of Liberia has released the provisional list of aspirants to participate in the upcoming Lofa County By-election, but Galakpai W. Kortimal, the UP candidate name didn’t show up on the list. The NEC named Momo Cyrus, Mariamu Beyan Fofana, Kpator Joseph Jallah, Sumo G. Kupee, and George Beyan Samah as potential aspirants for the Lofa By-election
Representative Clarence Massaquoi made the disclosure at the NEC National Headquarters in Monrovia, yesterday April 13, 2022, after the hearing of the case, the opposition lawmaker stressed that UP has gone out of patience and it will make sure that there will be no election in Lofa if the NEC continues, and added that the time has come to call it a quite.
He intoned that the party cannot tell the ruling party’s involvement in the matter but the Unity Party will not sit back and watch anybody thwarts the peace of the country, mentioning that the country’s democracy and fragile peace are under serious attack by people who he claimed are undemocratic.
The Lofa Lawmaker asserted that the ruling party wants to use Liberia’s already weak system at the National Election Commission which he claimed is occupied with partisan commissioners, that the NEC has taken to authority it does not have.
‘’To contest in an election is a constitutional right. Only the court can deny or guarantee that right but in this case, while the case is still oncoming the NEC has posted a provisional listing that essentially denied the UP and its candidate. Let me send this words fourth, and I want our international partners to hear this, that our democracy is under attack and the UP will not take it likely’’ Representative Massaquoi warned.
He alleged that there was a time when the NEC was asked to discontinue the processing of the UP candidate but the election hearing officers said the NEC does not have such authority, the UP observed that in less than a week, NEC has decided to deny the UP candidate.
According to Mr. Massaquoi NEC has stepped outside its authority by denying the UP candidate because they (UP) will make sure the election is not conducted in Lofa County, noting that the NEC and every other member of the CPP are aware of the UP withdrawer from the CPP and therefore, UP cannot be held for a clause in the CPP document which they claimed was tempered with before withdrawing.
‘’ We did not sign any document that talks about denying us. Article 8 they are talking about and raising is what we are against because we did not sign to anything therefore it cannot hold us. We have taken enough and any attempt we will resist. This is how people can manipulate votes and we will not sit for that to happen to us’’, He noted.
By: Stephen G. Fellajuah