Democracy, politics and governance are good and, just so you know, they are good not for the name, but, the power that it is associated with — which is the people’s power. They are all precipitated by one thing – Elections — and elections, they say, are the core of them and just one part of the word democracy. As an advocate, I am also reminded that some of those things that keep the strength and sanctity of a given democracy is advocacy.
Having said that, the core issue of this letter is to bring your attention to something that has the propensity to keep the sanctity of our already fragile multi-party democracy that is hugely polarized and lack of system.
Under the New Elections Law, precisely Charter 5a, Section 5a.1-2a.b, which states:
A Political Party or Independent Candidate shall be suspended if the candidate/s nominated in an election for the Presidency or a seat in the Legislature receives insufficient support in that election thereby resulting to: a) none of the party candidate is elected, and b) the total of all votes cast for the candidates nominated by the party is less than two percent (2%) of the total all valid votes cast for the candidates in the constituencies in which the party contested, the commission shall suspend the party’s right to nominate candidates for the next two (2) elections for the same office. Same for Independent Candidates: If an Independent Candidate has contested an election for President or a seat in the Legislature and, in that election: a) the candidate is not elected, and b) the total of all valid votes cast for the candidate is less than two percent (2%) of the total of all valid votes cast for all candidates in the constituency that the candidate contested, the Commission shall suspend the candidate’s right to be a candidate in the next two (2) elections for the same office.
Taking cue from the above, having read through the lines of the final results posted on the official website of the Liberia National Elections Commission and considering my role in this society of ours, I am obliged to say to the NEC that the above preposition mentioned in the New Election Law should be seriously adhered to this time. And let it not be the usual “this too is Liberia” or “it can work or will not work scenario”.
In addition, there are lots of prominent political parties and candidates who contested on parties’ tickets or went independent that are at the verge of facing such punishment. So the NEC this time around should not take this lightly and want to compromise, such that has the ability to undermine the legitimacy of our democracy.
In furtherance, I am of the strongest conviction that said law, if implemented, will to a larger extend uphold the potency of our politics, governance and democracy — that which will breed serious competition among political parties candidates and independent candidates that will not get affected in the next election.
Accordingly, political parties’ candidates and independent candidates will be in the know that there is a law that requires them to put in more time, effort and give their all. Because politics and elections all around the world are not child’s play; in other words, they are not for children, but men and women who are willing to follow the rules, regulations and standards of the game.
In closing, this is a clarion call from me as an advocate to you, NEC, the body charged and responsible by law to regulate electoral matters of the state. Again, I am of the strongest conviction that after these elections, political parties and independent candidates involved will be notified of their suspension.
In the spirit of genuine advocacy, I remain void of political manipulation, infiltration but independent of my opinion mentioned in this letter.
Bako Korboi Shuaibu Jr.
Advocate, Writer, Social Entrepreneur, Pan-Africanist, Social Democrat, Global change maker, Community Organizer, Communication Strategist, Social Change Activist, Motivational Speaker & Innovator