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High Court Reserves Ruling In Liberty Party Appeal
Date Uploaded: Jul 15, 2017

Temple Of Justice

 

High Court Reserves Ruling In Liberty Party Appeal

By Ballah M. Kollie

MONROVIA, July 13 (LINA) – Human Rights and Lead Lawyer of the Gongloe and Associates Law Firm, Tiawan Gongloe, is urging Liberians to obey the rule of law, describing it as the common denominator of the country and people.

“I think that in this country we should learn to abide by the law in all of our conducts because for me I see the law as the common denominator for the judgment of our conduct,” he said.

Cllr. Gongloe made the call on Thursday in an interview with Judicial Reporters following the hearing of the Liberty Party appeal on the rejection of its vice standard bearer Harrison Kanwea by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Kanwea recently resigned from the ruling Unity Party and as the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority and joined the opposition Liberty Party after which he was selected as the party’s vice presidential candidate for the October 10 presidential and representative elections.

Among other things, the NEC sees the Liberty Party and Kanwea’s decision as a violation of section 5.2 (a) of the Code of Conduct which states that 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 Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections.

Cllr. Gongloe, however, said while he supports obedience to the law, it should not be divisive or selectively applied, citing restriction by the Code of Conduct to only vice presidential and other presidential appointees as an example.

According to him, Article 52 of the Constitution provides similar qualifications for presidential and vice presidential candidates but that the Code of Conduct does not cover presidential candidates in the case.

Article 52 states that “No person shall be eligible to hold the office of President or Vice President, unless that person is:  (a) A natural born Liberian citizen of not less than 35 years of age. 

It states that the individual must also be the owner of unencumbered real property valued at not less than twenty-five thousand dollars; and resident in the Republic ten years prior to his election provided that the President and the Vice President shall not come from the same county.

The experienced Human Rights lawyer told Judicial Reporters that multiple questions to a particular party  does not matter as in the hearing of a case as said party could either win or lose the case, noting, “All those are intended to give the court a clearer understanding of the case so that it makes the right determination.

LINA BMK/TSS/PTK

 

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