Former ruling Unity Party (UP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), and Liberty Party (LP) yesterday accused the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) of constantly violating the Constitution.
The parties made particular reference to the recent policy statement Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor made to replace commissioners who would refuse to join the CDC.
The parties’ pronouncement was contained in a statement delivered at a press conference in Monrovia yesterday, read by Lafayette O. Gould, national chairman of the ANC on behalf of the three political parties.
Gould quoted the Vice President as saying, “How can two work together if they don’t agree? To agree, we must all be on the same side; so if you think you can’t make it, tell us, we ’ll find someone else.”
He said the most sacred duty of elected officials is to uphold the law with the oath to “defend and protect the Constitution,” a statement he said is an affront to the Constitution the Vice President took an oath to defend and protect.
Article 18 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia states that, “All Liberian citizens shall have equal opportunity for work and employment regardless of sex, creed, religion, ethnic background, place of origin or political affiliation, and all shall be entitled to equal pay for equal work.”
Mr. Gould said the vice president is not the only person affronting the Constitution but the pattern of gross disregard for existing laws have also found a place in some unwholesome practices and actions of the CDC that are fast becoming public policy.
He named the removal from office of public officials for no cause and who have not completed their tenure; replacement of heads of integrity institutions like that of LEITI outside of the legal framework that ensure their independence; displacement of civil servants, many on whom millions of tax payers and partners dollars have been spent on specialized training and their higher education and who are removed on the mere authority of a letter from the chairman of the CDC, in total disregard of the qualification of the new appointee or any reference whatsoever to the Civil Service Agency (CSA).
Already, the three parties said the citizenry has begun to see the negative impact of these bad policies on the rapid rise in armed robbery and increased hardship among the people.
He said those exclusionary policies are illegal and have the propensity to foster more division and resentment in the society.
“Our people still carry the scars of physical and mental hurts that punctuated the country’s recent history. Reconciliation remains elusive. CDC was elected to govern in the best interests of the people of Liberia, not to increase the misery of a segment of the population. It’s about time the CDC focuses on governing in the interests of all Liberians,” he indicated.
“Election is power to the people not an excuse for violation of the law. We will remain steadfast in defending the fundamental rights of all Liberians to work and earn a living in their pursuit of happiness. We will legally resist all attempts by anyone or any institution to choke those rights that are protected by the Constitution and urge the ruling party to take cognizance of their constitutional responsibilities,” Mr. Gould said.
It may be recalled that on June 5, the three political parties announced that they have joined forces to keep the ruling CDC accountable to the Constitution and the people of Liberia.
The political parties said they will maintain their independent identities and leadership, but will collaborate to articulate and then hold the CDC-led government accountable to the Constitution.