The Union of Liberia Association in the Americas (ULAA) says it supports the Code Conduct as a piece of legislation crafted by the Executive Branch of Government, debated, and enacted by the National Legislature, and finally upheld by the Supreme Court as “Constitutional.”
In a statement issued yesterday, ULAA said the Code of Conduct is one of the few Legislative Acts that has been fully vetted and scrutinized by all three branches of government.
ULAA, therefore, views the pronouncements and actions of politicians and others who intend on violating the law as dangerous, and has the propensity of delegitimizing the critical institutions of governance and undermines the peace and stability Liberians have enjoyed over the past decade.
ULAA said the Code of Conduct is important because there is no constitutionally protected right for anyone to remain an executive branch appointee and contest for elected office at the same time; or utilize the resources, trappings, and benefits of that appointment to seek elective office.
“Otherwise, individuals appointed by the executive branch in the military and police forces, such as the Chief of Staff and other commissioned officers of the army, as well as the Inspector General of Police and many others would have no limitation in becoming active politicians seeking elected offices while simultaneously serving in those positions,” ULAA said.
The Union recognizes that this law, like many other laws on the books, may not be to the liking of some segment of the population; however, in a democracy, it is the duty of citizens if they do not like a law to organize, petition, and persuade their lawmakers to change it, or vote them out of office.
It is precisely for this purpose that ULAA has undertaken the task of advocating for the repeal of the 1974 Alien and Nationality Laws, and the enactment of a dual citizenship law for natural born Liberian citizens who are citizens of their host country of refuge.
ULAA said he is calling on these politicians and individuals to follow the footsteps of the Union, instead of denying the existence of the Code of Conduct, or acting in ways that suggest an open violation of the Law.
ULAA believes that given the fragility of “our country and the menace of impunity that has permeated the governance structures of the nation, it is important that individuals seeking high level leadership positions in our country demonstrate true fidelity to the laws of the land, and resist the appearance of being above the law.”
Meanwhile, ULAA expresses satisfaction with statements emanating from the National Elections Commission that it will fully enforce all eligible laws, including the Code of Conduct, for all candidates seeking elected offices in the October 2017 elections.
ULAA wishes to warn all politicians and political institutions that the Union will hold them squarely responsible for any unlawful acts committed by them or their supporters in response to the actions of the National Elections Commission in ensuring that all laws of the Republic of Liberia are fully respected by individuals intending to participate in the pending elections.
ULAA denounces what appears to be a smear campaign and acts of intimidation against the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, after the declaration that the Commission will enforce the Code of Conduct as it relates to the 2017 general and presidential elections.
ULAA believes that questioning the citizenship of the National Elections Commission Chairman, who has successfully presided over many by-elections, is to also question the legitimacy of those elections, thus creating a serious constitutional crisis and posing a grave danger to the pending 2017 elections.
Further, the questioning of the citizenship status of an individual who everyone knows was born and raised in Liberia, with generations of parental ancestry rooted in Liberia proves that the law as it relates to dual citizenship of natural born Liberians, is a weapon of choice reserved by Monrovia politicians to exclude other Liberians from full participation in the body politic of the nation.
ULAA believes that a peaceful, participatory, free and fair election provides the necessary and sufficient conditions for peace and development in Liberia, and calls on all to remain within the confines of the law as the nation enters this crucial process in its history.
“Let us remember our past, enjoy the present and embrace the future for peace, love, happiness and good governance as we participate in a free and fair election under the rule of law,” said ULAA in the statement.