News / Africa

Liberian Candidate Qualifications Could be Challenged

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty

An official of Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) said October’s presidential elections will go ahead as scheduled following the results of the constitutional referendum.

The commission announced Wednesday that voters rejected all four propositions, including the controversial one to reduce the number of consecutive years a presidential candidate must have resided in Liberia from 10 to five.

As a result, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a number of other presidential candidates may be disqualified to stand in the October election.

Bobby Livingston, director of public information outreach for the National Elections Commission, said anyone dissatisfied with the qualifications of the candidates should challenge them in court.

“Anyone who feels that there is a probable cause to challenge any of the candidates that have been preliminarily qualified by the NEC, the onus will be on the person to go to the court and, as you know, in our jurisdiction the court that deals with matters of the constitution is the Supreme Court. [The court] will determine whether we should be stopped in terms of qualifying a candidate or whether we should be allowed as we have acted within the confines of the law,” he said.

Kwame Clement, a former Liberian journalist and now a lawyer in the United States, said any Liberian can file a lawsuit before the Supreme Court to challenge the eligibility of any one of the candidates who has been certified by the NEC.

“There is a doctrine in the law called 'standing,' that is whether you have the right to bring such a case before the court? And, to have standing, you must suffer injury, which means a legal harm. And arguably a Liberian can say, ‘I will suffer a legal harm if this person is allowed to contest the election because if that person wins, I will be ruled by a person who doesn’t satisfy the constitutional prerequisites for being president,’ i.e., satisfying the 10-year residency requirement,” he said.

Clement said legal arguments are there to be made for anyone wanting to challenge the qualification of the candidates, especially based on Article 52c of the 1986 constitution.

“The opening paragraph says, ‘No person shall be eligible to hold the office of the president or vice president unless that person is resident in the Republic 10 years prior to his election,’” Clement said.

He said there is also a counter argument to be made against Article 52c that the constitution doesn’t say 10 years immediately prior to the election.

“Somebody can put forward the argument that if you were resident in the country for any 10-year period and then left, you satisfy that 10-year requirement because the constitution does not say immediately prior to the election,” he said.

But, Clement said another counter argument can be made that the constitution is speaking of the present and the past.

“It [Article 52c] says no person shall be eligible to hold the office of president or vice president unless that person is a resident. So, it’s talking in the present and not the past.  It has to be 10 years of uninterrupted residence,” Clement said.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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