The Liberian Government introduced Code of Conduct as the 2017 general and presidential elections draw closer, come October 10, seems to be taken its roots in the midst of the country electoral process.
Already two running mates of one of the country’s two leading opposition political parties have received the first lashes from the electoral body of Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC) regarding the Code of Conduct.
The two running mates who have been lashed by the NEC are the running mate to the Liberty Party (LP) Political leader, Charles Walker Brumskine, former Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Harrison Karnwea and the running mate to the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Benedict Cummings, former Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Jeremiah Sulunteh are the latest victims of the CoC.
Some partisans of the affected political parties who spoke to the GNN over the weekend said they considered this latest move on the part of the NEC as a ploy to discourage opposition political parties that are favored by the electorates with their ‘minds set’ to dethrone the ruling Unity Party (UP) in the pending elections.
Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the Code of Conduct 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.
“(b) Any other official appointed by the President who holds a tenured position and desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post three years prior to the date of such public election.
“(c) However, in the case of impeachment, death, resignation or disability of an elected official, any official listed above desirous of canvassing or contesting to fill such position must resign said post within thirty days, following the declaration of the National Election Commission (NEC) of the vacancy.
According to reports, some others are likely to face rejection including, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, the former Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) Governor whose party, the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) is yet to finalized its listing for the upcoming presidential elections.
Jones stepped down from his position in April 2016. His party have argued that he did not harbor an intent to run until after his resignation.