Despite of being denied by the National Elections Commission (NEC) as a result of the Code of Conduct (CoD) of the Vice Standard Bearer of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh, the National Chairman of the Party told a news conference that his candidate will be voted for come October 10, 2017.
Speaking at the headquarter of the ANC, the National Chairman of the ANC, Orashell Gould said the decision taken by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to reject the Vice Standard Bearer of his party, Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh will not hold, noting, that “The picture of our Vice Standard Bearer will appear on the ballot come elections day, October 10, 2017.”
The ANC National Chairman speaking further, called on the National Elections Commission Chairman and the Board of Governors to be more transparence in its services during the pending elections.
Addressing a press conference at the ANC’s headquarters, the party’s Chairman, L. Orishall Gould, said the NEC’s decision will be engaged with a legal battle to ensure that justice is serve as their candidate is in no violation of the CoC. The ANC is expected to begin the legal battle very soon and this would be One of many high profile case that the Court is bracing itself to handle in this COC.
A confident Chairman told the gathering that the ANC vice standard bearer will be on the ballot in October.
“We would like to formally assure all of our Executive Committee members, partisans, supporters and well-wishers and the Liberian people that Ambassador Sulunteh will be joining our standard bearer, Alexander B. Cummings, on the ballots this October following this certification process,” ANC Chairman Gould.
“We stand firmly confident in this belief. Our lawyers, previous to his appointment as Mr. Alexander B. Cummings running mate, found him to wholly be in good standing with the law — as he has been in the entirety of his career as a politician and as soon of the Republic of Liberia.”
He added: “We call on you to remain calm, confident, and undistracted about the recent announcement from the National Election Commission. We ask all our supporters to remain focused on creating a better Liberia, wherer all voters are allowed to fairly make their decision this October, so that we all can have A Liberia we deserve.”
The ANC chairman in a firmed tone also told journalists that the ANC is still confidence in the NEC and believe that they are capable of conducting a credible free, fair and transparent elections.
The ANC’s reconfirmation in the NEC came barely a day when the Liberty Party (LP) said the NEC is not credible.
It may be recalled, Ambassador Sulunteh and Karnwea were rejected barely hours after presenting their nomination forms to be finally clear or given authorizations as legitimate contestants at the October polls. These two brings the total number to four of candidates that have been rejected by the NEC. Last week two representative aspirants from Montserrado and Gbarpolu Counties were disqualified by the NEC on the basis of the same COC.
It is no secret that in the next few days, it is strongly anticipated that the docket of the nation’s highest court will be flooded with Code of Conduct related cases.
Sulunteh resigned his post as Liberian Ambassador to the United States in February and later cross over to the ANC. He was a top-ranking member of the ruling party, serving formerly as senior national vice chairman of UP. He had previously served as Minister of Post and Telecommunications and Minister of Transport.
In crossing over to the ANC Mr. Sulunteh said in March, that his decision to quit the UP is primarily to maintain Bong County’s oneness, noting, “Because some politicians have created an artificial rift between Internal Affairs Minister Henrique Tokpa and I for a possible vice presidential pick for the UP.”
He said his decision to join the ANC was based on the leadership ability of Alexander B. Cummings, the party’s political leader. He promised to support Mr. Cummings throughout the length and breadth of the country until victory is certain at the pending October polls.
“The leadership and dedication of Cummings to Liberians over the years has inspired me to join the ANC,” Sulunteh said, adding that structural cohesion at the ANC has impressed him as well.
“I have come to say, ‘send me,’ and have come also for us to sail Liberia to the destination where our children and children’s children can be proud of,” Sulunteh declared to the beat of drums and traditional songs.
Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the Code of Conduct that provides that “All officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not (a) Engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices (b) Use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of parties or political activities.
The CoC also states that such persons cannot (c) Serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaigns of any independent candidate.
Section 5.2 says “Wherein any person in the category stated in section 5.1 desires to canvass or contests for an elective public position, the following shall apply.
“(a ) Any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a ) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Director, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two years prior to the date of such public election.
The conference was also attended by dozens of partisans and officials of the ANC who prior to the conference were downhearted as a result of the pronouncement of the rejection of the vice standard bearer of their party.