The leadership of a group of Christians under the banner of the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) says the Ebola scourge should not be an excuse to stop proceeding with the mid-term senatorial elections.
The Faith-based group says it strongly supports President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, members of the National Legislature, and authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) in holding the Senatorial Elections before January 2015.
AEL’s statement of support, presented at a press conference in Monrovia on Monday, comes as Liberians are eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on a writ of prohibition filed against holding the senatorial elections.
“NEC should do all it can to hold the senatorial election before January 2015 to avoid having Senators at the National Legislature who will have no constitutional grounds for being there,” president of the Board of AEL, Nuwoe-James Kiamu asserted.
Kiamu further argued that those who filed the petition before the Supreme Court claiming to be the people’s representatives are not, adding that they are doing so with the intention of undermining the country’s democracy.
“While it is the critics’ constitutional right to petition the Supreme Court to halt electoral activities and even suspend the 2014 Senatorial Election, we must make it very clear that these people are not all the people in whom “all power is inherent;” nor are they acting as the people’s legitimate representatives in this matter,” Kiamu emphasized.
The power and authority the people have to institute their government for their happiness and safety cannot be done arbitrarily, but procedurally, he said, adding that “the people act through their government – that is those select few they elect or appoint to do their business on their behalf and not through the masses.”
According to him, any action by any group of people to stall the pending election will put “the integrity of the Liberian people, their Constitution and government in question.”
The AEL President further stated that the time for the senatorial election was when the Ebola Virus was on the increase, thus creating cause for postponing the election.
“Unfortunately, 2014 is the year for Senatorial Election, and the second Tuesday fell right when the Ebola scourge was threatening the country’s healthcare delivery system in which elections would not have made good sense. In this instance, it became necessary for the people’s representatives and executive to act immediately and properly,” Kiamu added.
He said, if it turns out that the election does not proceed as planned, the AEL holds that the sitting Senators would have the constitutional basis to retain their seats in the Senate.
“The point is this. If the senatorial elections failed to hold before January 2015 then, by that action, we the people of Liberia, would automatically be mandating the sitting Senators to continue to conduct the people’s business until at such time when we cause them to leave their offices by regular elections,” Kiamu continued.
He then called on churches and institutions to stand ready to participate in the pending senatorial election, adding that they should not allow anyone to take them on a propaganda ride to thwart their votes.
“AEL believes that we should do all we can to nurture Liberia’s democracy and not rupture it. We pray that with God above, we will prevail over this situation, Kiamu added.