Chesson-Wureh Urges Respect for Constitution, Supreme Court

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Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh and panelists at the dialogue.

On their decisions on credible elections

The initiator of the Women’s Situation Room, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, says while the United States Embassy near Monrovia has said it has confidence in the integrity of the October 10 elections, it is important to note that the ongoing electoral crisis demands respect for the Constitution of Liberia and the Supreme Court regarding credible elections.

Cllr. Chesson-Wureh was speaking yesterday at a one-day dialogue in Monrovia organized by the Liberia Media Development Program in Promoting Democracy, Preventing Elections Violence through Dialogue.

As a civil society organization the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) finds it expedient to speak out on the issue to protect Liberia’s peace; and as a lawyer, she is very happy to see the justice system at work, said Chesson-Wureh. “We would (rather) see the case in court than see somebody’s child in the hospital. We are appealing to everybody to please give them the space to do it; we know that we are all concerned so that we do not run into the time and over to January. We could run into problems, so we are still hopeful that we are going to have a transition of power in January, so let the justice system do its work.”

She said as a lawyer, she strongly believes in the justice system and therefore aggrieved political parties must use the legal process, as is being done, rather than getting in the streets to cause violence for “the common people who don’t have a place to run.”

Cllr. Chesson-Wureh said the Supreme Court and the NEC have been encouraged to speed up with the cases and give the final ruling in the shortest possible time to ensure that the process is in line with the constitution so that there can be a peaceful transition of power from one democratically elected president to another.

The WSR initiator said if the Supreme Court finds irregularities and fraud sufficient enough to lead to a rerun of the elections then the country has to go for a rerun and if it calls for a runoff then the two candidates must go for it, and the Liberian people will have the chance to decide who becomes their next president.

“One of the things people seem to be forgetting about is that if the court decides that we are going for a rerun then it means all the representative candidates-elect will have to go back to campaign for their their positions,” she said.

The president of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Frances Greaves, said because the NEC staff went to the polls with a poor administrative management structure, it led to many challenges during the process.
Madam Greaves said major challenges faced as a result of the Voter Roll made the electoral process questionable, and therefore it needs to be looked into to avoid the same problem if there is a rerun or runoff.
“We can’t have elections with people’s names written on sheets,” she noted.
She said the NEC and political parties must employ people with experience as both observers and poll workers to make the process credible and peaceful.

In his remarks, the President of the Press Union of Liberian (PUL), Charles Cuffey, said the media respects the election guidelines and the Union’s Code of Conduct during the elections by avoiding hate messages and other actions that are capable of causing violence in the country.
He said because the media educated and informed the public, there was a huge turnout of voters during the October 10 elections, indicating that there is a need for the media to educate the public on how to vote to cut down the huge number of invalid votes.

5 COMMENTS

  1. While no one can argue that fraud and other forms of irregularities are acceptable or should be overlooked in elections, the plain truth is that timing is important; those now crying that the NEC allegedly mishandled the October 10 polling should have insisted on ensuring beforehand that NEC was taking all necessary measures to guarantee a free, fair, and transparent outcome. For instance, these politicians should have joined Prince Johnson in raising hell about the secret meeting the President held with NEC folks at her home a few days before the election. That’s when they should have taken “Crooked Ellen” and her gang to court… Instead they did nothing and only saw PYJ as a potential loser and troublemaker.

  2. While in hindsight we can decry the meeting at the president’s residence as ill-advised, the fact of the matter is that it was not a “secret meeting,” as the meeting was attended by a coterie of NEC officials, international observers, government ministers, etc. No “secret meeting” could be held with that many persons. These are some of the irresponsible hyper-inflammatory statements that sometimes incite people, thus leading to unnecessary election violence. And no amount of “fraud” or “irregularities” by design should be “overlooked” in any election. Any such diabolism ought to be identified and the perpetrator(s) penalized accordingly. Apparently Mr. Peter Kortuwah has no inclination that it is those very shenanigans like frauds, irregularities, threats, misinformation, disinformation, voters intimidation and outright brutalities that often erupt into election violence. And for your information Mr. Kortuwah, “those crying that the NEC mishandled the October 10th election” did not just start complaining today or after that election. The complaints started since Jerome Korkoyah was appointed as chairman of the NEC. People cried the he be removed because he was corrupt; that he was an American citizen; that he was incompetent and more than that some of his staffers even came out publicly to agree with those critics about the man lacked integrity and principles. And it was not your lousy murdering Prince Johnson that started the outcry about anything pertaining to the NEC. Such acclaim goes to people like Mr. John Stewart, Mr. Weedor of the NEC Board of Commissioners, the administrative assistant who resigned from the NEC, etc. Not to mention the very CDC celebrating Mr. Korkoyah today who rejected and boycotted an all-party meeting organized by the man few months ago, intended for all parties to this election to sign some type of joint-communique relative to grievance protocol during the course of the election. So know your facts my friend.

    • Mr. Hilary Snyder, you insist that the meeting at the president’s residence was not a secret one, since it was attended by “a coterie of NEC officials, international observers, government ministers, etc.” But you then concede that in fact the meeting was “ill-advised.” So which is it? Well, ordinary Liberians know much better than to accept Ellen Sirleaf’s continuing Machiavellian moves to influence the outcome of their elections, moves that have led to the current impasse, drawing the ire and contempt of the AU and ECOWAS, among other observers… Sir, the point of my earlier comment was not against the lawsuit now before the courts, but simply to regret that the complaining political parties had not mounted a vigorous legal challenge to Sirleaf’s poisoning of the well… No doubt the fraud and irregularities now being unearthed and protested could have been more effectively prevented or aborted at that stage, thus allowing for free, fair, and transparent polling to proceed, only the will of the people determining the outcome. That is still my humble opinion.

  3. It is wrong to respect a Supreme Court which does not respect the Liberian Constitution. Yvette Chesson-Wureh DO NOT PRETEND NON-KNOWLEDGE OF THE ROTTENESS OF THE CURRENT LIBERIAN SUPREME COURT!

    Have you forgotten how the very Supreme Court violated the Liberian Constitution, and three of its justices were disgraced and almost impeached By the Liberian Legislature? Do you want to tell us you do not understand how the Supreme Court has compromised itself regarding Article 83 C of the Liberian Constitution, By ordering the halt of NEC´s election activities and the cancelling of the runoff simply on allegations made By a complainant, when the 30 day period granted the NEC By the Constitution was far far from expiry?

    Or are you one of those who wrongly believe that people appointed on the Supreme Court´s bench are automatically legal experts or demi-gods! Supreme Court´s appointment does not make anyone a legal expert; since in fact, such appointments, especially in Liberia are fundamentally based on political or personal preference, and nothing else. NO NSA CLEARANCE, NO ASCERTAINTY OF PRIOR TRAINING AND PRACTICE AS A JUDGE!

  4. Oh wow.
    I can finally say something. I am a foreigner and therefore neutral in this. On my first day in Liberia, l was invited to attend a training or at least accompany my host.

    Who knew this much contested thing is the one thing l unknowingly attended. I was there people, the president didn’t even have time to meet the people coz she was on her way to the airport. She was like, you have an important role, do your duty to the latter of the Constitution. Serve Liberia. She refused to shake hands or take pictures and we were urshered out of the premises.

    I would never really have thought much of this. However, the way it is brought up in the media often is more revealing to me. I think to myself, l hope there is other evidence coz l know this one doesn’t count.

    I fell in love with Liberia and l truly hope for the best soon. One Africa.

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