The Liberia National Movie Union (LIMU) has found itself in another crisis barely a month to the holding of its general elections.
The crisis comes days after the Union’s Elections Commission released its guidelines for the conduct of its elections, scheduled for March 31.
In a letter to Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Mr. Frank Artus, the standard bearer of the All-Star Movement, expressed displeasure at what he described as “the unconstitutional guidelines” released by Junior Pewee Russian, chairman of the commission.
“We plead for your intervention in disbanding this commission to save the Union from an inevitable backwardness,” Artus added.
Among other provisions, the LIMU’s elections guidelines want a contestant for LIMU’s president to be a Liberian and his/her parents, should be a property owner with at least L$100,000 in his/her account.
The Commission said such a contestant should have parents who are both Liberians. Frank Artus’ father is an Egyptian.
This wrangling is the second since the beginning of this year and has brought the union to public ridicule. The first confusion was when the Union’s vice president Henry Johnson masterminded the expulsion of the current president Martha Akorsah and five other members.
But the expulsion backfired and 72 members of the Union signed a resolution and expelled him. Since then, the Union has been split between Henry Johnson and Martha Akorsah’s supporters.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the National Elections Commission Junior Pewee Russian has denied accusations that a clause, regarding the elections, is meant to deprive Mr. Artus of the presidency.
“The Elections Commission members were appointed by the Union’s president with the consent of the members, including the complainant, who was in that meeting. If the commission’s selection is unconstitutional as he (Frank Artus) claims, I don’t think he could have registered, although he still owes some balance of his registration,” Chairman Russian said.
He added “We are working directly with the constitution of the Union, which was amended last year. It is a shame that Artus bypassed the complaint channel and went directly to the minister to complain. The Union is ready for a new day and people will merit every position they want to ascend to.
“The guidelines drawn for the elections came directly from the amended constitution. The complainant needs to go and read the constitution before coming to the public to make any allegation,” he said in a phone conversation.
Meanwhile, Chairman Russian disclosed that this year’s election, unlike the past will take place in 10 of the 15 counties, making the election decentralized than ever before.