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The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) says, its petition before the Supreme Court, which seeks the highest court intervention to compel the National Elections Commissions (NEC) to uphold the constitution is not intended to delay the 2023 general and presidential elections.
“The CPP is not seeking the intervention of the court to delay the elections. We know that Liberians cannot wait to end their sufferings by decisively voting out and bringing to a democratic end the multiple failures in leadership of the George Weah-led administration.” The CPP said in a statement Friday.
CPP on Friday, March 17 filed a petition before the full bench of the Supreme Court seeking an intervention by the court to compel NEC to demarcate constituencies as required by the Liberian Constitution before proceeding with its planned voters’ registration scheduled to start on March 20.
The Collaborating Parties’ demand followed the announcement of the provisional 2022 National Housing and Population Census results which say Liberia’s population increased by 1,772,013 compared to the 2008 census. The 2022 Census puts Liberia’s population at 5.2 million (5,248,621), compared to 3,489,072 in 2008.
In keeping with Article 80 (c), “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…”. According to (d) of the same Article, 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.” At (e), the Constitution provides that “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 CPP explained that like many Liberians, it is concerned about the constitutionality of the action of the NEC to conduct Voters Registration, after the conduct of a Census, but without constitutionally demarcating constituencies into which a voter is to be registered.
The conduct of the census in itself was greeted with various public objections over the unconstitutional delays to conduct the census, and concerns about the integrity of the results.
The CPP pointed out saying, “although final results have not been announced, preliminary results, which were publicly announced, show changes in the growth and movements of the population. In some cases, the changes in population defy historical trends and represent massive and significant shifts in the growth and movements of the population.”
It noted that with the observations above, it is the constitutional duty of NEC to proceed as the Constitution directs, and from which it has no authority to deviate.
The CPP believes that to do otherwise is to violate the Constitution and thereby risk the constitutional integrity of the upcoming elections.
The party said doing nothing and allowing the NEC to proceed unconstitutionally is harmful to the country and the Liberian people. All Liberians have the 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.
CPP believes that it is absolutely important that Liberians are adequately represented in their government as the Constitution grants unto them the right to be.
It explained that this is only possible if constituencies are constitutionally demarcated, and voters are then registered into those constituencies in which they can vote for their leaders and representatives. We have a duty to ensure that we do the right things the right way and that the right way is in keeping with our laws.-Writes Othello B. Garblah
Source of original article: Liberia news The New Dawn Liberia, premier resource for latest news (thenewdawnliberia.com).
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