“NEC Should Be Bold to Advise Government Against Holding Referendum”

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Former Chief Justice of Liberia, and fomer Chair of the Constitution Review Committee, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott

Former Chief Justice Warns that credibility of the outcome will be undermined

The former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr Gloria Musu Scott, has cautioned the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be bold to advise the government that if the referendum proceeds in the way it is currently being handled, it will undermine the credibility of the outcome. Her call is now inclusive of many calls with the latest by Liberian Diplomat Olunbanke King Akereie, who at the African Methodist Episcopal University’s 20th Commencement wondered why people are not advising the President rightly and he is not listening to the Liberian people.

“I expect NEC to be bold enough to say that if we proceed this way, it will undermine the credibility of the outcome of this process, and accordingly advise the government- it will be in the best interest of NEC, the President and the republic; as an old country, we need to do things rightly,” Cllr. Scott said.

The former Chief Justice’s statement comes days after the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled that it is unconstitutional to place eight resolutions prepared for a national referendum into five portions. Article 92 of the Constitution stipulates that each proposed amendment to the Constitution must be accompanied by a statement which states the reason for the amendment and must be published in the Government’s official gazette.

Speaking on a recent statement by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel MgGill, who called for citizens to vote for all propositions for amendment, Cllr. Scott wondered why the Minister and other functionaries will drag the presidency to this level, saying it looks like a manipulation of the presidency, which is even a disservice to that office. 

Cllr. Scott, who is also the former Chairperson of the Constitution Review Committee, emphasized that the Constitution stipulates that the amendment should not be voted on earlier than twelve months. She recalled that during the nationwide tour of the CRC, citizens agreed that the tenure of the presidency be reduced from six to four years; senators from nine to six; representatives from six to four.

“So, now that the Legislature has passed the resolution that is contained in the gazette changing the mandate of the citizens with respect to the CRC Report, it is incumbent upon those who have the responsibility, as per the Constitution, to go back to the people and explain to them reasons for the change and implications. But without doing that, you want to denigrate the work of the CRC and use it as a cloak…”? 

Former Chief Justice Scott emphasized the need to thoroughly educate the citizens on what it means if they say yes or no; “That is the responsibility of those functionaries who are assigned to perform such functions, and they should not hide under the work that we did. Do you know what it means to stand up as Minister of Presidential Affairs and say vote yes; you are speaking for the Presidency. Is that what we want, without explaining to the people why they should vote yes? That is abusing the decision of those who repose their confidence in the presidency. If you really love the President and want him to go down in history and have a legacy, do it right — that’s the best you can do for him, and this republic which is finding a direction.”

She maintained that the country is still in transition and has continued to suffer from misrule since the 1820s when the first group of those she described as the “colonialists” landed here and declared independence. “We need to govern this country in a different fashion; we have got to bend the corner and begin to govern this country with some level of integrity, compassion for people, fairness and equality. It can’t be the same way always that you people will create the situation, especially for whoever is now in leadership, to salute him, ‘hail Caesar, hail Caesar’; it is not in the best interest of the person that is in power but those who are hailing and manipulating,” she noted.

The legal luminary lamented that people have not learned that, “When we accumulate all of this, if that thing that defines us as Liberians, if that common denominator is not stable, rooted in the rule of law, enforcement of law, equality, justice, fairness, we lose it all — we have seen it in our lifetime; so we have got to stop it.” 

Former Chief Justice who claims to be press-shy, however, asserted that the situation is so grave that she has to speak out.

“We have got to learn to be bold; we have experienced so much in this country; we have looked at death in the face, seen our children die, the country reduced to nothing. So, from the experiences that we have had,” she added, “We’ve got to learn some boldness in terms of governing this country. I expect NEC to be bold enough to say that if we proceed this way, it will undermine the credibility of the outcome of this process, and accordingly advise the government — it will be in the best interest of NEC, the President and the republic,” she reiterated.

With NEC’s claim of carrying out notable changes in accordance with the Supreme Court rulings, former Chief Justice Scott wondered whether NEC has sufficient time to go out and educate the voters on the new format of the referendum, with the Constitution prescribing not less than twelve months.

With respect to calls by some Liberians for the rewriting of the Constitution, Cllr. Scott advises that citizens first follow what is in the Constitution, such as teaching it in schools, equal access to natural resources, among other things.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Gloria Musu-scott, why as Chair-Person of the very NEC under former President Taylor you were never bild to tell him and his government it was to much of a rush to have the election when not opposition political partiets and voters argued and pleaded that having election at that time only served Taylors interest to the nation’s disadvantage ?

    • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
      Is that your argument hope for change ? Or more of the same from the ugly past of former regimes of that God Forsaken Land ? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Arguments going back to the Taylor’s days. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

      • As for a God Forsaken FOOL like you James Davis, PRINCIPLE does not matter. So of course, its not surprising that you are of the conviction that there is nothing wrong with one championing and extolling policies when she was a beneficiary of those very policies, but once she is no more a beneficiary of such policies, she goes about condemning those very policies.

        You will do well for your God Forsaken self to let thinking precede your comment, instead of the reverse, then you may probably realize and acknowledge that given the context, its not about which era or which leader, its about who is sharing his or her view, as is the case with Gloria Musu Scott displaying her hypocrisy.

        • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Hope For Change, doing the same of the ugly past that was rejected by the citizens to overthrow regimes, execute leaders, war and military rule, by doing the same and calling it Hope For Change, if that isn’t Hypocrisy , then you have a right to your limited mindset. Limited mindset, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
          What A God Forsaken Man In A God Forsaken Country Leading To No Where, Because of No Vision. Leading to nowhere, because of no vision. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
          And no one can tell them anything. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  2. Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh Mistake is about to happen again. first fool is a fool second fool is not a fool. no one listening to the whisper of the same problem or mistake coming until it is done again.

  3. Gloria Musu-scott, why as Chair-Person of the very NEC under former President Taylor YOU WERE NEVER BOLD to tell him and his government it was to much of a rush to have the election when not only opposition political partiets but also voters throughout the country argued and pleaded that having election at that time only served Taylors interest to the nation’s disadvantage ?

    Madam hollier than thou mistress, why when you were Chief Justice under that war criminal and now despot killer Charles Taylor you were not bold to tell him Taylor and his government that he Taylor and his government were killing and burning innocent people and his opponents to ashes as they did to Sam Dokie, John Yormie, Vaye and many others even former Vice President Enoch Dogolea?

    Was uit because if you dare been bold you would have never become Justice Minister or Chief Justice appointed in war time By killer Taylor? Just the other day while Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her children were abducting people and slaughtering whistleblowers and dashing their bodies behind her office with her con breaking down NOCAL, YOU GLORIA looked the other way and was begging her to make you chairperson for your so called CRC. You are a damn hypocrite!

  4. Can we become just as passionate on becoming self sufficient in feeding ourselves or road accessibility to all towns in every county. Affordable food, more * better job, employment

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