Avoid Another Vicious Cycle of Potential Violence And Bloodletting- Call the Nec Chairperson to Order, Mr. President

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Since news broke of Joe Biden winning the Presidency of the United States of America, pundits here in Liberia have gone into overdrive, trying to explain developments in the US vis-à-vis ongoing development in Liberia’s electoral process.

What is however being ignored, disregarded or lost in the discussions is the centrality and integrity of the Voters’ Registry to the conduct of successful, free, fair, unfettered and transparent elections.

Not surprisingly, there have been no disputations over the integrity of the Voters’ Registry unlike Liberia where its Voter’s Registry is compromised and flawed according to a 2017 Supreme Court ruling.

Unlike the United States of America whose Supreme Court is independent, the same cannot be said of the Supreme Court of Liberia, known for its obeisance to presidential diktat.

In a very unusual case, for example, the Supreme Court of Liberia has adamantly refused to stand by its previous 2017 decision and mandate to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to have the Voters’ Roll cleaned-up.

This is indeed very strange because according to legal experts, Justice Sie-Nyene Yuoh’s  action contradicts the legal principle of “Stare Decisis” which is one hoary with age in Liberian jurisprudence.

According to Legal Dictionary, Stare Decisis is the policy of courts to abide by or adhere to principles established by decisions in earlier cases.

Further according to Legal Dictionary, under “Stare Decisis”, once a Court has answered a question the same question in other cases must elicit the same response from the same Court or lower Courts in that jurisdiction.

In the case at bar, Justice Yuoh’s blatant refusal, without any legal justification, to refuse to hear the CPP’s petition for a Writ of Mandamus seeking to have the NEC clean-up the Voters’ Roll (VR) constitutes a travesty of justice  according to legal experts (names withheld).

That leaves the opposition with little options legally to address concerns which, if left unaddressed, could succeed in turning this democratic experiment head over heels and unleash a vicious cycle of violence that may prove difficult to contain.

And the implications for regional and sub-regional security and stability are deep and very unsettling. Thus, it is by no means surprising that the opposition is mulling prospects of taking their case to the ECOWAS Court since Liberia’s Supreme Court appears incapable of or is finding great difficulty standing behind its own decision.

As things stand, NEC Chairperson Davidetta Lansanah appears hellbent on holding the elections at all costs, even if it means doing so in violation of the law.

For example, expressed reservations by the PPCC against the awarding (illegal) of a procurement contract to the Unique Enterprises that did not participate in the competitive bidding process were cogent but, the NEC Chairperson simply ignored the PPCC and proceeded to violate the law with impunity.

Quite clearly, the NEC Chairperson by her actions is nudging the country into an orbit of cyclical violence of the kind witnessed here during one and a-half decades of brutal civil war.

The time span between now and the December 8 senatorial elections, representative by-elections and national referendum is very short.

It remains doubtful, very highly doubtful that the clean-up of the VR currently being undertaken by a team from ECOWAS will be completed before the scheduled elections.

As this newspaper has warned on several occasions, trouble is brewing and President Weah must see it fit to bring things under control and ensure the creation of a level playing field for the elections in order to defuse a potentially volatile and explosive situation.

His functionaries have, for all intent and purpose, failed him. They have pursued wrong policies all for personal interest, told multiple lies in multiple layers, and have led him down a labyrinth. He must now use all his wits to get out and God help him if he does.

Take for instance the current artificial shortage of Liberian dollars  on the market which has occasioned a false appreciation of the Liberian dollar as prices still remain the same or are going higher.

Those Liberians who depend on remittances from abroad for survival find it very difficult obtaining value for their money given the false appreciation of the Liberian dollar. This is sheer wickedness according to some petit traders who say they are losing money due to what they call the “false rate”.

And as if to add insult to injury, while local banks are reporting shortage of Liberian dollar banknotes which they say is compelling them to issue mutilated notes to customers. And this not going down well with the consuming public.

Yet at the same time CDC stalwart and contender in the up-coming senatorial elections has been seen on several occasions with wads of newly printed Liberian dollar banknotes paying cash (LD$500) each to potential and prospective voters.

Although they appear not to realize it, officials of the CDC government need to awaken to growing signs of potential unrest and take appropriate steps to mitigate the situation and avoid a  rude awakening.

Also. officials of this government, especially President Weah, should know or should be aware that families are grieving and hurting over the sudden and unexplained loss of their loved ones. Up to present and several weeks later no arrests have been made. It is as if it is just another routine matter.

All the above, put together, constitute a potentially explosive mix which should be handled with the greatest care and caution. President Weah is thus urged to distance himself from those advocating the use of unbridled violence as a tool of political control. This is because a sure as the sun rises and sets, it will more likely than not engender an equally violent response that may spiral off into another vicious cycle of violence and bloodletting. President Weah must call  NEC Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lansanah to order now before it is too late.

7 COMMENTS

  1. The people of the regions in Liberia: Grand Gedeh and Nimba think they have more stake in Ivory Coast than Liberia; that is why for he past years since 1990, they have always took part in political activities in that country. During the Administration of EJS, group of ex-fighters went into Ivory Coast and killed lot of people, including U.N.Peace keepers, they were arrested and the Government tried to prosecute them, but the process was marred in politics: Rep. Alex Grant politicized to say only “Grand Gedeans” were being harassed because of their disliked for the former president of Liberia.
    As the crisis unfold in that country, there is no doubt, people from Grand Gedeh will be heavily involved, until that crisis will spill-over her. Let the Government take hint of this.

  2. Did anyone heard the call from president Weah about institutions helping to teaching the youth of Liberia about the destruction corruption weigh on society. Do you need any institutions to teach anyone about not to be corrupt? Absolutely not, and leaderships must adapt policies that will deter people from corruption. These policies must be in force at all times regardless of status and who you are. The real questions are, is our president willing to set the bar vigilantly to discourage corruption in our midst? Used iron hands on those that are caught stealing government funds? Yes, I mean iron hand, and if this requires death penalty, so be it and people will soon get the message about the deadly side if caught. Do we need institutions to discipline our children at home? No! We the parents takes necessary actions in disciplining our kids and this is excatly how our leadership of our nation should discipline anyone that caught in corruption scandal in our country. Government should audit public entities on the regular basis and if anything smell from such audit, those individuals involved should be seriously punished to discourage others from repeating the same. We can not be rewarding people for stealing government funds and expect changes. Our leaderships need to really crack down on corruption or else, corruption is slowly destroying us all at the detriment of the few bad ones.

    Corruption comes in different forms and different shape which all lead to greed and self centred. Our president need to lead and take control of what happening in his administration. Why will NEC boss willingly undermined the PPCC, a institution that has been established by government to prevent such smelling deals which has occurred at all cost despite she was told not to. She need to be seriously reprimanded for her actions and most of all, undermining the PPCC. What the NEC boss did is just another classic corruption because of self interest and not Liberia interest. This is a case we look up to our president to set a precedent by condemning the NEC boss, asking her to publicly apologized to the PPCC administrators, then over turning her dubious contract with the company involved.

    This will send a very loud and clear message to all government officials that, the president means business for the best of Liberia. If the NEC boss goes unpunished, she will continue violating the laws of Liberia because, she will feels bigger than our laws in Liberia, and make no mistakes about this that, no one is above our laws and everyone falls under our laws. The real questions now becomes, what was the reasons of the Liberian government establishing the PPCC for, if the very government institutions can not abide and yet, undermining the integrity of the PPCC. Can anybody help me out here please.

  3. Look folks, although precedent and stare decisis are legal principles that help build our common law systems and the judicial process in toto, with stare decisis denotating that courts look to past, similar issues to guide their decisions known as precedents, nevertheless,

    (1) precedent, A LEGAL PRINCIPLE, or a rule, that is created by a higher court decision is of various types (binding and non binding, etc.) and .

    (2) stare decisis is A LEGAL DOCTRINE that obligates courts to follow historical cases when making a ruling on a similar case, THIS IN NO WAYS MEANS

    (3) prior decision(s) of the Supreme Courts cannot be overturned! PRIOR DECISIONS CAN BE OVERTURNED when

    (4) the court itself overrules the previous decisions! And this is what happens in supreme Courts across the globe! And this is what may have happened in this scenario under discussion! So
    instead of wrongly misperceiving the Supreme Courts decision here discussed, you all should..

    (5) be giving thanks and praises to the Justices of the Supreme Court for such judicial excellence vis a vis such jurisprudential tenets as exclusive legal positivism ,inclusive legal positivism, the separability thesis, social fact thesis, or even the incorporation thesis as they all in this matter, relate to the legal methodology of constitutional and statutory interpretation.

    EXAMPLES MADE MANIFEST AT THE US SUPREME COURT, A COURT WITH WHICH THE LIBERIAN SUPREME COURT SHARES A COMMANALITY OF HISTORY AND JURISPRUDENCE HEREUNDER!!!

    “For example, in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Court overturned its 1977 holding in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education15 and determined that laws that require public employees to pay “fair share” fees to the union designated to represent their bargaining unit, even if the employees are not members of the union, violated the First Amendment by compelling speech on matters of public concern.

    And in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Court overturned holdings in two earlier cases,

    Still further..

    Although the Supreme Court’s decision to retain a precedent may prompt significant debate, the Court’s overruling of precedent can also be controversial, as the Court’s 2010 decision in the campaign finance regulation case Citizens United v. FEC illustrated.11

    That case established that the First Amendment prohibits governments from restricting independent expenditures on political speech related to an election campaign by corporations, labor unions, and other organizations. In reaching this result, the Court overturned its decision in Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, which had held that the government could prohibit political speech funded from a corporation’s general treasury fund based on the fact that the speaker was a corporation.“

    Remember, as I True Nationalist have always argued here and elsewhere, neither law is arithmetic, nor the courts or judges are traffic lights! And it is based upon the raison de etere of the aforementioned social fact thesis that Oliver Wendell Holmes propounded that “the life of the law has not been logic“. It has been experience!“ Hence he referred to the law as “the prophecies of what the court s will do!“

    IN SHORT, AS IT IS ALSO IN INTERNATIONAL LAW WHERE IF STATE PRACTICE, WILL, AND INTEREST, POINT IN SOME DIRECTION, THE LAW MUST POINT IN THAT DIRECTION, TOO (ASCENDING PATTERN OF JUSTIFICATION), SO TOO, IN MUNICIPAL LAW OR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, PRIOR DECISIONS CAN BE OVERTURNED when the court itself overrules the previous decisions!

  4. This case reminds me of the Kabineh Janeh fiasco filed at the ECOWAS Court in which he argued on human rights violation when his removal was not a matter of the judicial process nor his legal or human rights, but indeed a pure political matter as far as impeachments in common law countries are concerned. for..

    (1) the Liberian Constitution places the sole power of impeachment in two political bodies (the Senate and the House),, Hence

    (2) impeachment is qualified as a political question. As a result,

    (3) neither the decision of the House to impeach nor a vote of the Senate to remove a President or any other official can be appealed to any court!

    SO Kabineh Janeh and his lawyers simply allowed themselves to be made mockery of by those rascals. Accordingly, all any member state would do in such fiasco, IS TO IGNORE ANY SUCH DECISION FROM THAT COURT.

    And this is made clear from the statement by the Republic of Liberia as concluded hereunder in the FPA REPORT ON THE MATTER..

    “But the Respondent, represented by the Attorney General, Counsellor Lafayette B. Gould, Sr denied violating the human rights of the Applicant and submitted that the impeachment of the Applicant was done through a political process which also followed the due process of law as laid down in Section 43 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia. The State urged the Court to declare that the application is inadmissible because the Community Court is incompetent to review, interpret and apply the national constitution and domestic laws of Member States.“ POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY! POLITICAL OR CONSTITUTIONAL JURISDICTION!!! NO GO AREA FOR ANY EXTERNAL ACTOR!

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