News / Africa

Liberia's Candidates to be Made Public for October Election

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty

The National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) is expected to announce Friday the names of legislative and presidential candidates considered qualified to stand in the October general election.

The announcement follows the results of last month’s controversial constitutional referendum in which Liberian voters rejected a proposal to change the residency requirement for presidential candidates from 10 to 5 years.

The failure could have meant that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a number of other presidential candidates might not have been qualified to run.

NEC Chairman James Fromayan said the 10-year residency requirement is ambiguous and his commission did not want to disqualify any candidate based on what he called a vague constitutional provision.

Fromayan said a total of 16 presidential candidates will be announced as qualified to stand in the October 11 election.

“The result does not have any direct bearing on the qualification of candidates from the standpoint of the National Election Commission. Against that background, we have our own guidelines and requirements that candidates are supposed to meet before they are qualified by the NEC to contest election and, as far as we are concerned, those who are qualified to contest have met all the qualifications laid down by the elections commission and are consistent with the laws of Liberia,” he said.

Fromayan said his commission is not trying to disregard the mandate of the Liberian electorate who voted August 23 in a referendum and rejected a proposal to change the residency requirement.

“What was being proposed for amendment was much clearer than the 10 years that is very, very ambiguous and lacked clarity as to what the law is talking about. So, we don’t want to penalize anybody on the grounds of a particular constitutional clause that lacks clarity,” Fromayan said.

He said the decision to put the 10-year residency requirement to a vote was that of the Liberian legislature, not the election commission.

“We did not bring any provision up for referendum.  Let’s get that very clear.  Those provisions came from the national legislature.  It did not [come] from us.  As far as we are concerned, the issue of residency clause has never been an issue to us,” Fromayan said.

A spokesman for the elections commission told VOA a week ago that anyone who was not satisfied with the qualifications of a candidate should challenge that in court.

Fromayan appears to be backing away from that claim.

“We’re not really laying that position.  We qualified the number of candidates we have talked about and, as far as we are concerned, we are moving on.  If anybody feels that we have done wrong, they know where to go.  They know precisely what to do, but don’t feel guilty of any wrongdoing, and I think we will forge ahead focusing on the conduct of the election which is October 11.  Those who want to pursue a court action, it’s up to them.  We’re not telling them what to do,” he said.

There are suggestions that the Supreme Court may not have “original jurisdiction” and that anyone wishing to challenge any candidate’s qualification may first have to do so with the National Elections Commission.

The issue of who has “original jurisdiction” to hear any complaint about the qualification of any presidential candidate is being debated by legal experts.

Fromayan said complaints about election matters should first go to the elections commission.

“In some instances, individuals go straight to the Supreme Court without recourse to the elections commission, but electoral complaints for the record ought to begin with the National Elections Commission,” Fromayan said.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid