For Nearly Three weeks now, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been engaged with investigations of complaints of irregularities and electoral fraud. The investigations of the complaints, which are ongoing, were filed by the Liberty and Unity Parties, among others.
The Investigations Followed the issuance of a Writ of Prohibition by the Supreme Court on November 7, 2017 Presidential run-off election. The Liberty Party filed a petition for a Writ of Prohibition at the High Court, seeking the court’s approval to stop the run-off election on grounds that the National Elections Commission was proceeding with electoral activities while their complaints were still under probe.
Now That The NEC is investigating the complaints, it appears that the European Union (EU) is sensing that the investigation is moving slowly. According to a statement issued Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the EU delegation to Liberia cautioned parties against ‘unnecessary delays’ in the ongoing litigation process. EU stressed the importance of a smooth democratic transition for Liberia’s stability and economic growth. “We therefore encourage all concerned to work constructively and in good faith to conclude the current complaints process without unnecessary delay, so that the electoral process can be completed in accordance with Constitutional timelines regarding the assumption of power by the next administration,” the European Union statement noted.
The Statement By the European Union must be taken very seriously by all political parties and their supporters. We agree with the Union because there is constitutional limitation for the current government to hand over authority to an elected government; and as such, no room for unwarranted delays should be created.
We Are Suspecting that there are individuals and institutions bent on delaying the ongoing investigation at the National Elections Commission by raising trivial issues to the issues at hand. This, in itself, is a delay and a complete waste of time. Parties must be cognizant of the constitutional timelines, which we believe, they are aware, but playing delay tactics to unnecessarily drag the case into 2018 apparently to the end of the government’s tenure.
We Think This is dangerous for our democracy and undermines the intent and purpose of the Constitution of Liberia. We encourage all parties including the NEC to expeditiously investigate the matter so that Liberia can get back on track. The more the investigation is delayed, Liberians and friends of Liberia will develop a wait-and-see attitude, which could hamper Liberia’s economy to a greater extent.
Speed Up The investigation process and make a determination so that Liberia will start moving again.