EMOL: Constitutional crisis must be prevented in Liberia

The electoral impasse is causing unease among Liberians

The Emancipation Movement of Liberia (EMOL) is calling on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to adjudicate all electoral complaints speedily to prevent constitutional crisis in the west African country.

It has also warned against the circumvention of constitutional due process and against war mongering.

EMOL cautions Liberians to be aware that these false alarms of wars are tactics to keep voters away from participating in the second rounds of voting to decide the presidency.

EMOL, a non-partisan and non-profit peace building and advocacy organization legalized in the United States and Liberia, said in a release that “it is important for all Liberians at home and abroad to recognize challenges arising from elections are part of the electoral process and therefore all Liberians irrespective of party of affiliation should allow the constitutional due process in resolving these disputes.”

The organization, headed by Jarwinken Wiah, said it is not in the best interest of all Liberians and the country to circumvent the due process by allowing traditional chiefs or council of religious leaders to resolve constitutional matters.

“Historically such circumvention has not produced effective resolution in the interest of majority of the Liberian people, rather for those fighting for position of power,” EMOL noted.

EMOL said the different transitional governments during the nearly 15 years of civil war, prior to the first post-war democratic elections, which brought President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, are testaments that such arrangements only serve the interest of those seeking power at the detriment of the suffering majority.

EMOL said to remove the uncertainty and to prevent constitutional crisis, NEC should speedily adjudicate all electoral complaints before it.

It added that there would be a constitutional crisis should the run-off of the presidential elections between Coalition for Democratic Change’s  George M. Weah and ruling Unity Party’s Joseph N. Boakai fails to take place on time.

The run-off resulted from the October 10 elections as none of the 20 presidential candidates was able to earn 50% plus one in the first rounds, which is required for winning the presidency.

Weah and Boakai came first and second respectively, clearing the way for the two to stand in the run-off which was scheduled for Number 7.

The Supreme Court put a stay on the exercise after a petition was filed by the Liberty Party  alleging irregularities during the conduct of the elections.  The court has since referred the case to the NEC for adjudication.

The election body is supposed to adjudicate the complaints and set a new date for the run-off.