CPP Petitions Supreme Court On NEC “Constitutional Violations”
The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) has filed a petition with the Supreme Court, questioning the Constitutionality of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to conduct voter registration after the conduct of the census without demarcation of constituencies, in which a voter registers.
In a statement released on Friday, March 17, the CPP cited Article 80 (c) (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution as those being violated by the actions of the NEC, and asked the nation’s highest court to compel the NEC to proceed to conduct the processes of the elections only according to the mandate of the Constitution.
Article 80 (c) states that “every Liberian citizen shall have the right to be registered in a constituency, and to vote in public elections only in the constituency where registered…”, while (d) of the same Article, says a constituency “shall have an approximately equal population of 20,000, or such number of citizens as the Legislature shall prescribe in keeping with population growth and movements as revealed by a national census; provided that the total number of electoral constituencies in the Republic shall not exceed one hundred.”
According to (e), “Immediately following a national census and before the next elections, the Elections Commission shall reapportion the constituencies in accordance with the new population figures so that every constituency shall have as close to the same population as possible; provided, however, that a constituency must be solely within a county.”
The opposition political group said, despite various public objections over the un-Constitutional delays to conduct the census and concerns around the integrity of the results, the Liberian government insists that the census demanded by the Constitution has been conducted.
The CPP, therefore, contends that, although final results have not been announced, the announced preliminary results show significant changes in the growth and movements of the population and necessitates Constitutional actions to ensure adequate and proper representation of the Liberian people in their government.
Liberia’s Constitutional elections are scheduled to be held on October 10, 2023. The NEC has scheduled the commencement of voter registration on Monday, March 20.
Meanwhile, the CPP says it is not seeking the court’s intervention to delay the elections, but rather to ensure that the NEC conducts the processes of the election according to the Constitution.
“We know that Liberians cannot wait to end their sufferings by decisively voting out and bringing a democratic end to the multiple failures in leadership of the George Weah-led administration. However, we must not permit violations of Constitutional provisions relating to the elections without acting to correct such gross violations,” the CPP petition said. “If we permit one violation, we risk permitting others, including the timely conduct of the elections.”
The CPP statement further said that a failure to act against the NEC proceeding un-Constitutionally will be harmful to the country and the Liberian people. “All Liberians have scars to show that when we allow ourselves to act outside the law we invite consequences that undermine the peace, security and stability of the nation.”
According to the CPP, it is absolutely important that Liberians are adequately represented in their government as the Constitution grants unto them the right to be.
“This is only possible if constituencies are Constitutionally demarcated and voters are registered into constituencies in which they can vote for their leaders and representatives,” the CPP statement concluded.
It is now highly expected that the 5-member Supreme Court will move quickly to decide this important Constitutional issue placed before it by the CPP.