Sen. Morais Wants CoC Suspended

15
1996

Senate Foreign Affairs Chairman, H. Dan Morais, has written the Senate Plenary – the highest decision making body of the Upper House – to suspend the Code of Conduct (CoC), “because of the recent ruling from the Supreme Court, which he said has rendered the law irrelevant.”

The debate on the Senator’s letter will begin when it is placed on session’s agenda after the two weeks’ break ends in early August.

Sen. Morais is the second person in ascension to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the senior Senator of Maryland County.

He told newsmen on Capitol Hill in Monrovia yesterday that the judgment and attitude of the Supreme Court have undermined the role of the CoC.

He argued that a law is a law when it is only approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives, attested by the President and printed into a handbill; but it is not when the Supreme Court voted or acted upon it.

In a  frustrated tone, Morais said the CoC was meant to stop “unprepared people” from coming into the legislature with the word, “desire” creating a level playing field for all Liberians; and stop “the unscrupulous ones” from using the taxpayers’ money to win elections.

According to him, already, the Supreme Court’s ruling has muted the intent of the law.

“It is usual saying that silence means consent, for which some of us will not sit quietly, but to ensure that the cloth that blind justice wore is removed,” Sen. Morais said.

Accordingly, a law can be suspended if 2/3 members of the Senate and House of Representatives signed a petition and it is approved by the President. If the President fails to approve it, the legislature has the right to override the President’s decision.

Meanwhile, Sen. Morais has threatened to take authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to court should they use “fines” to open the floodgates to include questionable names on the final listing of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

Some members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, it may be recalled,  threatened to impeach the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for  “their bias or inability to perform the functions of their offices; for clearing the nominations of Harrison Karnwea and Jeremiah Sulunteh, vice standard bearers for the oppositions of the Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress  respectively, to contest the October elections.

Article 71 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia gives the legislature the authority to remove the Chief Justice and Associates Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of subordinate courts of record, because of bad behavior. The Constitution states that they may be removed by impeachment and conviction by the legislature based on proven misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.

Recently, during a Senate special session, Sen. Morais walked out of the session when his colleagues refused to include his recommendation on the agenda to discuss the Judicial Review of the Supreme Court’s Opinion.

Morais argued that the discussion is far more important, “because the Supreme Court’s ruling is not only dangerous, but has the propensity to undermine the peace and stability of the country.”

About eight senators out of the 16 voted against placing Morais’ recommendation on the agenda, arguing that last Friday’s special session was intended to concur with the House of Representatives on the 2017/2018 National Budget and not to discuss the judicial review of the Supreme Court’s opinions on Karnwea and Sulunteh.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately it won’t happen Hon. Morais. This law is trip for a catch and won’t be put away. This trip has to stay in the bush to serve as stop to some Liberian Politicians.

  2. Senators!

    This disgraceful and very dangerous ruling of the Korkpor Bench of the Supreme Court which threatens the peace and stability of the country HAS IN EFFECT AND REALITY suspended the COC.

    ANY FURTHER OR ADDITIONAL SUSPENSION OF THE COC BY THE SENATE OR LEGISLATURE IN TOTO, shall simply legalize and legitimize the Supreme Court’s ILLEGAL, ILLEGITIMATE, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, AND CRIMINAL, SUSPENSION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT.

    Kenneth Bear’s headline of this story and his editorial jubilating and praising the disgraceful conduct of the so caļled justices of the Supreme Court should tell you that a SUSPENSION of the COC by the Senate is exactly what those STOOGES at the Supreme Court need to legalize and legitimize their misconduct and disrespect and insult towards the legislature and the Liberian people and the DISREPUTE they justices have brought upon the Supreme Court.

    Remain calm and steadfast towards this great opportunity to IMPEACH these dangerous and disgustingly incompetent STOOGES of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calling themselves justices but polluting the Bench of the Supreme Court- a pollution having the propensity to bring about national conflagration!

    • Kandajaba, I understand your frustration but, the legislature and executive are to be blamed! The Supreme Court is only doing damage control.

  3. The legislature makes the law in the process has no option retrieving; maybe adjusting. But is it true that when an act has been signed into law, it is already a historical record of the Liberian nation? Members of the Legislature have been mandated, given them by Liberians, to capitalize made laws of the entire nation and not only a county. When Senators talk about suspending a law already made, it degrades the purpose of amendments used to strengthen the faith of the Liberian constitutional merits set forth by our founders. The intelligent approach to avoid legislative kink is to amend in-branched legislation. Interpreted laws are judicial functionary and any attempt by the lawmakers to touch such laws is bridge of equality and could be marked as functional theft. An opinion given by the highest court may be enhanced or not; but grounds to implement is left to the executive branch for such impeachment or suspension. NEC is a mini portion of the Executive branch and not the Executive. It is the President who heads this execution. Unfortunately, presently neither of the 3 branches of the Liberian Government has the power to do so before the election because these branches each share incumbent sharing powers with this incumbent 34%, not enough to stimulate the silent majority now preparing to hand power over to the next actual elected President on October 10, 2017. If any Liberian or official is uncomfortable with the election trend now in action, the only solution is to seek remedy by abstinence or by voting freely and fairly.
    Gone to the majority in silence. Talk to the Liberian nation. Do not answer me. Seek your own votes.

  4. Sen. Morias, this is just the beginning of the disintegration of our justice system, therefore our only option is to advocate for the impeachment of The Korkpor’s Bench, in order to restore sanity to our society. This Bench has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they can not be trusted, therefore you, the members of The National Legislature, should act accordingly, and move quickly, so that our nation can be rescued from imminent calamity. To sit passively and allow this gross misconduct to go unpunished, will leave us with no alternative but to sadly await our demise. Hon. Morias, we, the well-meaning people of this state, are depending on your intellectual acumen, and your indent love for this country, to use every resource at your disposal,to turn this disgraceful debacle around. May the Almighty God offer His assistance to you during your nationalistic sojourn. God Bless the state.

  5. What I don’t understand is, why was 5.1 & 5.2 Of the COC inserted and approved as Law in the first place? The Lawmakers and their advisors crafted the laws without any input of their constituents! No education on laws, whatsoever! This was a serious breached of one of their responsibilities! Was this a calculated action for a sinister ulterior motive? Maybe! The COC is a good law but the sections mentioned above are not fair; the lawmakers get free passes in using government’s resources in campaigning and the others be penalized for the same things! Foul, foul, foul! The Supreme Court is correct in handling the issue this way to disfuse tension. The Lawmakers are bias in the first place. The Senators need to bury their heads in the sand!

  6. Mr. Senator, The COC is already dead upon arrival. So I do not know what you are talking about. Just find yourself place to hide.

  7. Mr. Gbelly, is asking whether the CoC law in Liberia was a calculated action that had ulterior motive? Why is it so controversial to the extend of attracting the attention of world bodies to send representatives to visit Liberia. The CoC was passed into law but did not include the Legislature, (themselves) for a level playing field. They are also ambitious for higher positions in the country. For example, the now VP, heading the Senate and speaker, heading the Representatives are candidates for higher positions then they now occupy. They are included in the election raise for the VP and Presidency. Why are they exempt from the CoC laws for the elections? The COC is a good law but Sections 5.1 7 5.2 violated the Constitutional rights of members of the Executive and Judiciary branches. It says volume when high delegations from ECOWAS, USA, UN etc are visiting Liberia to discuss election regulations and stressing NEC to ensure transparency, free and fair elections. How self centered and bias the Legislative branch is now under the leadership of the VP and Speaker? They allowed their members to impose h-u-ge salary structures and benefits for themselves at the expense of a failing nation and have passed into law a bias CoC, banding others from exercising their constitutional duties. Is this what we are going to expect for another six years? Where is the selflessness of our leaders in our country. Well, Liberians must decide. The GREED behavior of some public officials has to be weeded out of the country. We need a change for new direction. Firstly, The salaries and benefits for public officials should not be determined by themselves for conflict of interest, which is an Important consideration for the CoC. Those are some of the issues that need national referendum. Liberia is a small country, about 43,000 square miles, four million population and a wealth of human and natural resources that could take a very short period of time to transform Liberia into a peaceful and productive state for all. We can do it with a joint effort of a good leadership team and all Liberians participation.

  8. I commend Senator Morias for the PASSION he exhibits in defending the CoC. I just wish that PASSION is exhibited in DELIVERING for the people of Maryland County. In my opinion, the CoC was flawed to start with. If the “Purpose” of the law was to create a “level playing field” for all, it falls short. As I understand, it was intended to prevent unfair advantage for those in position of authority and influence, as they contest for elected office. In this case, of those running for the highest office in the land, who has more AUTHORITY and INFLUENCE than the Vice President and Speaker??

  9. Wow! Liberians of all walks of life must joins Morais now before
    it is too late. Liberia does not need Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and
    Chief Justice Francis Korkpor’s Code of Conduct. There are
    enough constitutional provisions and Laws to deal with unethical
    and corrupt behavior.

  10. Senator, dey law (CoC) chakala already, dey Supreme Court spoilay it nor every tom, dick and harry resigning to run for office; dis hole ting, dar Liberia Law, aa for sum pepo and nar for oders. Mar pepo, yor tick note oh, “Without justice, der will be no peace oh.” Let all lor us remember, “Dey rope dar hang monkey, dar dey same rope dar can hang baboon oh.”

  11. Senator, with all due respect. Why are you supporting this, useless LAW, called CODE OF CONDUCT? About (75%) of the County of MARYLAND’S Citizens that you represent are against the CODE OF CONDUCT. IN FACT, about (80%) Liberians are against this, useless LAW. Do you strongly believe that the SUPREME COURT was to allow such a LAW in an ELECTION YEAR? It is the duty of the Honourable Judges to make a decision that protects democratic principles and the safety of the STATE. Thanks to the Honourable JUDGES OF SUPREME COURT.

  12. AN ARTICLE REPEALING THE CODE OF CONDUCT:-

    A SOLUTION TO THIS ONE WOMAN’S IDEA OF CODE OF CONDUCT

    Article 1: Repeal
    A call on Liberians of all walks of life to come together and petition the
    Honorable National Legislature to repeal, cancel and disallow the Code
    of Conduct from existing as a Law for the following reasons, to wit:-

    Section 1: To begin with, this so-called law, the Code of Conduct came
    from a woman who did not have Liberia and Liberians at heart, because
    she is the owner of the war that decimated the country- her war which,
    of course, was in violation of the Constitution of Liberia: “Any Liberian(s)
    who goes outside of the country; organizes war and finances it and brings
    same to Liberia with the sole purpose to destroy the country shall be charged with Treason and, upon conviction shall be executed and forfeit all his or her belongings to the Republic of Liberia.” Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Dr. Amos Sawyer with their Association of Constitutional Democracy for Liberia ACDL); having organized, solicited fund and finance the same ACDL in the United States of America, did execute their war and destroyed Liberia and slaughtered innocent women, children, aged and sicked-in-bed and the meagre infrastructures of the country.

    Section 2: That during the war, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Dr. Amos Sawyer
    were instrumental in giving orders to Charles Taylor as to the
    manner of executing the war, including her instruction to Charles Taylor to
    level or bury Monrovia, the Capitol to the ground and she will rebuild it.
    Today, Monrovia is not levelled to the ground due to resistance of the
    galant men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia. She and Dr. Sawyer
    are residing in the city to conduct their selfenrichment. This is treason!

    Section 3: In spite of all the constitutional provisions and Laws of Liberia
    to deal with unethical and corrupt behavior in the country, the President
    has added another infamous, unguided, oppressive and dehumanizing law
    Code of Conduct that denies and frustrates meaningful Liberians from
    contesting the ensure general Presidential and Legislative elections; even
    after her war that massively destroywed the country.

    Section 4: The Code of Conduct law is not constitutional because it did not
    pass through the legal process of enacting law. It did not enjoy the expressed wishes of the people through National Referendum.

    WHEREFORE AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOINGS, the Code of Conduct
    does not make any exception to Presidential appointee nor does it excuse any one appointed by the President of Liberia in foreign service. It only states that any one holding Presidential appointment and is interested to run for office, must do so only after three years. Those who violated the CofC are; Dr. Mills Jones, former Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Harrison Karnwea, former Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority and Ambassador J. Sulunteh, all have not waited for three years
    but allowed to run for elected offices. This, therefore, renders the Code of Conduct dead and no effect anymore. Hence, it must be repealed and scrape from among good Laws of this Republic of Liberia.

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