20 Political Parties Dragged to Court

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Twenty political parties have been sent to court for failing to live up to party standard; that is according to Liberia’s elections body, the NEC.

The commission on Monday filed a petition to revoke the “Registration and Accreditation” of 20 registered political parties in Liberia.

Those suspected delinquent parties include: 1) former warlord, Senator Prince Y. Johnson’s National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP); 2) the Liberian Transformation Party of former presidential candidate Rev. Kennedy Sandy; 3) the National Vision Party; 4) Ambassador Dew Mason’s National Democratic Coalition; 5) the Citizens Unification Party.

The National Elections Commission also announced that the: 6) Freedom Alliance party; 7) Original Congress Party; 8) Progressive Democratic Party; 9) Liberian Destiny Party; 10) Liberian National Union; 11) Alliance for Peace and Democracy; 12)Liberian Empowerment Party; 13) Progressive People’s Party; 14) National Reformation Party; 15) National Democratic Party of Liberia; 16) Reconstruction Party; 17) National Social Democratic Party of Liberia; 18) Republican Party; 19) Liberia Equal Rights Party; 20) the Majority Party of Liberia, are all expected to face the Civil Law Court shortly.

According to the petition, the political parties violated Articles 83(d)  and 79 (c)(i) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia as well as Part II Chapter IV of the Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates.

Article 83(d) of the Constitution makes it mandatory that every political party in Liberia shall on September 1, of each year, publish and submit to the NEC detailed statements of assets and liabilities. These shall include the enumeration of sources of funds and other assets, plus a list of expenditure. Article 79(c)(i) in relevant part, mandates that no association shall function as a political party, unless the headquarters of the association is located in the Republic’s capital, while Part II, Chapter IV of the Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates mandates that “each political party shall maintain an updated bank account with a balance not less than US$10,000 or its equivalence in Liberian Dollars.

The Electoral body explained that the Liberian Reconstruction Party,  National Social Democratic Party of Liberia, Republican Party, Liberia Equal Rights Party, Majority Party of Liberia and the Progressive People’s Party “absolutely failed to comply with the constitutional requirement of Article 83(d) as well as the regulatory requirement of Part II Chapter IV of the Guidelines relating to the registration of Political parties and Independent Candidates by the failure to  publish and submit detailed statements of their assets and liabilities and maintaining a bank balance of not less than 10,000 United States Dollars or its Liberian Dollars Equivalence.

In the case of the National Democratic Coalition, National Democratic Party of Liberia, and Alliance for Peace and Democracy, NEC intoned that the parties did not only neglect the above mentioned constitutional and regulatory requirement to publish and submit detailed statement of their assets and liabilities on September 1, they also failed to make such submission during a grace period provided to them by the Commission.

The National Vision Party of Liberia, National Union for Democratic Progress, Citizens Unification Party, Freedom Alliance Party, Original Congress Party, Liberia Empowerment Party, Progressive Democratic Party, Liberia Destiny Party, Liberia National Union, Liberia Transformation Party and the National Reformation Party in addition to failing to meet the above mentioned mandatory constitutional and regulatory requirement, knowingly submitted misleading and false assets and liability statements to the NEC, knowing full well that the declared amount and or accounts were false or did not exist.

In the petition filed before assigned Circuit Judge, Peter Gbeneweleh Monday in Monrovia, the Commission asked the Civil Law Court to revoke, nullify and set aside the respective registrations and accreditation of the 20 political parties, declaring them no longer in existence.

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