10 opposition political parties caution, agree that referendum be postponed
Ten registered political parties have condemned the call from the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), the Rainbow Alliance and some other opposition parties that the leaderships of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Court must resign ahead of the Special Senatorial election, the Representatives by-elections and the National Referendum, all of which are scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
At a press confence held at the headquarters of Liberia Restoration Party (LRP) in Sinkor over the weekend, the opposition political parties said while they are in agreement with their counterparts on some national issues, they do not see it prudent that members of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC and the Justices of the Supreme Court Bench resign.
“We believe that such a call from the CPP at this time of electioneering is miscalculated, untimely and counterproductive to the growth and development of our nascent democracy and it is a recipe for political chaos against the gains we have made over the years as a country so far,” said ALCOP’s national chairman Ansu V. S. Dolley, who read the press statement on behalf of the constituent opposition political parties.
ALCOP is the “All Liberian Coalition Party” of former warlord, Alhaji G. V. Kromah. The party has participated in a series of elections, inclduing the 1997 Special post war election in whic Charles G. Taylor was elected President of Liberia.
Dolley added: “Our agreement with the CPP, however, does not include demanding the resignation of the NEC Board and the Supreme Court’s full bench.
“As political institutions, we think the CPP and its cohorts were short-sighted in their thoughts when they made this unreasonable, undemocratic, unthinkable demand at the time voters are preparing to go to the polls to vote a new set of fifteen (15) Senators to represent them at the Liberian Senate.”
According to ALCOP, the LRP, the Redemption Democratic Conference (RDC), Liberia Transformation Party (LTP), while they are are opposition political parties wishing to take state power through democratic processes, they are against any plan that threatens the peace and stability of the country.
“CPP, the Rainbow Alliance and others did not do us good. It was a great disservice to us for including any resignation call for the NEC board and the Supreme Court’s Justices, when we did not have such agreement earlier upon our meeting to plan that press conference they held,” the opposition bloc said.
Others present at the press conference were Change Democratic Alliance (CDA) and the United People’s Party (UPP) while four other opposition political parties said to have affixed their respective signatures did not show up at the time of the press conference.
The opposition political parties said despite their disagreement with the CPP and others on the resignation of the NEC Board of Commissioners and the Justices of the Supreme Court, they are in agreement that the referendum be postponed.
“We would like to restate that the Constitutional Referendum is not timely, knowing that the Liberian people need to be adequately informed about the eight propositions before such voting excercise is conducted in line with the organic law of the Republic of Liberia. We have a problem each with the referendum but we are calling on all of our partisans and supporters respectively to come out on Tuesday December 8 and vote their consciences,” the opposition team said.
About whether or not they intend to form a collaboration or an alliance as other political parties have done, the respective political parties, through the press conference said nothing is impossible but the decision is theirs to make or not.
“We will decide when necessary but coming together or not, we have to be resposnsible political institutions and consider hold ourselves accountable to the general Liberia population, even though we are not in the ruling position,” they said.
The parties further admonished: “We want to ask our friends to tune down their rhtorics and work with the current team of Commissioners at the NEC because it is in the best interest of the country and electoral cases may be taken to the very court whose Justices you to see released from their job.”
They said NEC invited all political parties and allowed them access to the cleansing of the Voter Roll and they are confident that the FRR is safe for the elections.
It can be recalled that on December 2, 2020, Alexander Cummings, chairman of the CPP, said his political collaboration sees it fit for the members of the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to resign because they are biased and compromised.
CPP, the Rainbow Alliance and their partners said NEC’s failure to make available to the political parties, mainly the opposition community, copies of the Final Registration Voter Roll (FRR) is tantamount to an attempt to compromise the credibility of the elections.
Cummings and his team alleged that NEC is in cahoots with the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to manipulate results of the election and that the Commission is in violation of the Elections Law, mainly Chapter 3.6, which requires that the FRR be made available to the public through election magistrates, but yet to be done.
While other ten opposition political parties, including ALCOP, LRP and CDA are calling on registered voters to go out and vote their consciences, CPP and its collaborators called on their supporters to boycott the rereferendum.