MICAT’s Ruling in LIMU Pre-Elections Case Falls on Deaf Ears

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The Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) has mandated the President of the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU) to reconstitute the election board and use the old constitution instead of the amended one in the pending elections in their ruling of the All-Star Movement VS Union Election Commission case.

MICAT’s ruling, given by Boakai Fofana, Deputy Minister Technical Services, said after listening to both parties’ side of the argument, the Ministry ruled that the President of the Union, Martha Akorsah, reconstitute the election commissions before the pending elections can go into effect.

Min. Fofana’s ruling also instructed the president to inform the next election commissions not to use an amended constitution, which has not been approved, to draw up guidelines for the conduct of the upcoming elections.

“After listening to both parties, I noticed that the election commissions were in violation of the Union’s constitutions by drawing guidelines from the recently amended constitution, which have not been approved.

“Therefore, we mandated the president to reconstitute the election commissions, who will now have the responsibility to set a new guideline which should come from the 2006 constitution for the conduct of the pending elections,” Mr. Fofana said. “Also, the election should not be decentralized and that the election of the various guild chair should be abolished because these clauses are not in the old constitution.”

However, in response to MICAT’s ruling contained in a press statement, Martha Akorsah, the Union’s president, seemed unwilling to adhere to MICAT’s mandate and has expressed confidence in the current election commissioners.

“Being complacent of our electoral procedure, the entire membership of the Union with the mandate from the president is leaving no stone unturned, to remove the election chairman Junior Pewee Russian or anyone who is not knowledgeable about our constitution and electoral guidelines.

“Additionally, I’m mandating the election chairman and the team to proceed with the electoral process as slated for March 31,” Madam Arkosah said.

The 24 counts of complaints filed by Frank Artus, the standard bearer of the All-Stars Movement, noted that decentralization of the Union’s election was unconstitutional and illegal and is intended to sway the result of the elections negatively.

The complaints also stated that the commission’s actions to draw the guidelines from the amended constitution, which has not been approved clearly violate the constitution.

Frank Artus in that complaint among other things said that the appointment of the commission was unconstitutional because the decision was unilaterally taken by the Union’s president without consultations of the National Executive Committee.

The document also said LIMU’s election guidelines that called for a contestant for the presidency to be a  property owner with at least L$100,000 in his/her account; and that such a contestant’s parents should be natural born Liberians are illegal.

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