The political leader of All Liberia Party (ALP), Benoni Urey, has objected to the involvement of Dr. Amos Sawyer, chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), in the ongoing debate on the controversial Code of Conduct (CoC).
Urey said the ALP does not want Sawyer’s expert opinion on the CoC because he is the architect of the Code of Conduct and the 1986 Constitution and therefore he should stay out of the dispute.
Urey said Dr. Sawyer, who has called on the government to relax the contentious aspect of the CoC that received endorsement from the Supreme Court, has not always been constructive for the country.
At the ALP’s headquarters over the weekend, Urey said, “The law is the law and let Sawyer and his proponents stay away from what the highest court of the land has already decided; let the opinion of the court be respected.”
Urey said that Dr. Sawyer and his GC need to take themselves out of the debate because the CoC originated from that institution. “Let Sawyer remove his hands from this thing. It is a law and must be implemented to the letter. Dr. Sawyer must not use his influence to manipulate the process.
“It was this same Sawyer who started this Code of Conduct thing in 1979 accusing President Tolbert of nepotism, corruption, and bad governance as well as speaking strongly against Tolbert’s regime. But similar things are happening in this government and Sawyer is dancing to Ellen’s tune. He is not speaking anymore against those ugly vices in this government,” Urey chided.
Sawyer recently recommended that Part V. Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the CoC be considered “inapplicable” to the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections.
Part V. Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the CoC seeks to exclude from contesting the upcoming elections any presidential appointees who did not resign from their respective positions two to three years ahead of declaring their intention to run.
At the heart of the controversy are the political leaders of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. Mills Jones; the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander Cummings; and former Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Mr. Harrison Karnwea, now vice standard bearer of the Liberty Party.
The Commission also recommended that there must be a pronouncement declaring the 10-year residency requirement for presidential hopefuls inapplicable.
Both were part of several recommendations the Commission made to the Supreme Court of Liberia and the National Elections Commission (NEC) in its 2016 Annual Report released recently on the 2017 elections.
The GC, in its report, also suggested that the doubts about the provision as it was under challenge has a disruptive effect in its enforcement; and therefore, the provision should be considered inapplicable to the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections in the same manner the 10-year constitutional provision was considered inapplicable to the 2005 and 2011 elections.