The Supreme Court is aware of the implications of its decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Code of Conduct (CoC), which bars presidential appointees unless they resigned two years prior to the elections, and will accordingly brace itself for the legal battles that may come after any decision by the National Elections Commission to bar any of these appointees.
Accordingly, the Alternative National Congress (ANC) will be seeking the court’s indulgence to better interpret what it has upheld—a process from which the party strongly believes it would emerge from with flying colors.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) at the candidate nomination proceedings on Thursday at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, rejected ANC’s vice standard bearer Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh. The former Liberian Ambassador to the United States was appointed running mate to standard bearer Alexander B. Cummings.
Also rejected at Thursday’s event was Harrison Karnwea, the vice standard bearer of Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party (LP).
The ANC told its many members on Monday that there is no need to panic as their second-in-command will definitely contest in the upcoming elections.
Addressing a press conference at the ANC’s headquarters, the party’s chairman, L. Orishall Gould, said the NEC’s decision will be engaged in a legal battle to ensure that justice is served as their candidate has not violated the Code of Conduct. The ANC is expected to begin the legal battle very soon and this would be one of many high profile cases that the court is bracing itself to handle, toward clarifying the Code of Conduct.
A confident chairman Gould told the gathering that the ANC vice standard bearer will be on the ballot in October.
“We would like to formally assure all of our executive committee members, partisans and well-wishers that Ambassador Sulunteh will be joining our standard bearer, Alexander B. Cummings, on the ballots this October following this certification process,” Gould said.
“We stand firmly confident in this belief. Our lawyers, previous to his appointment as Mr. Cummings’ running mate, found him to wholly be in good standing with the law, as he has been in the entirety of his career as a politician.
“We call on you to remain calm, confident, and not distracted over the recent announcement from the National Election Commission. We ask all our supporters to remain focused on creating a better Liberia, where all voters are allowed to fairly make their decision this October so that we all can have a Liberia we deserve.”
The ANC chairman in a firm tone also told journalists that the ANC has confidence in the NEC and believes that it is capable of conducting a credible, free, fair and transparent election. The ANC’s reaffirmation of confidence in the NEC came barely a day after the Liberty Party (LP) said the NEC is not credible.
It may be recalled that Ambassador Sulunteh and Mr. Karnwea were rejected barely hours after presenting their nomination forms to be finally cleared or given authorizations as legitimate contestants in the October polls. These two bring the total number to four candidates that have been rejected by the NEC. Last week two representative aspirants from Montserrado and Gbarpolu counties were disqualified by the NEC on the basis of the CoC.
In the next few days, it is strongly anticipated that the docket of the nation’s highest court will be flooded with Code of Conduct related cases.
Sulunteh resigned his post as Liberian Ambassador to the United States in February and later crossed over to the ANC.
He was a top ranking member of the ruling Unity Party (UP), serving formerly as senior national vice chairman of the UP. He had previously served as Minister of Post and Telecommunications and Minister of Transport.