By Fitzsimmons Gus
Three registered opposition political parties have issued a joint statement condemning the Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for what they referred to as a deliberate violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court and the sacrosanct rule of law.
The parties, namely the Liberia Action Party (LAP), Liberty Party (LP) and the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP), maintained that they and all Liberians endorse the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Legislative injunction trial, as a position that all Liberians, who believe in the rule of law, must uphold.
The parties however said they regret the decision by President Sirleaf’ to deliver her State of the Nation Address in disregard to the judgment of the Supreme Court, which declared the convening of renegade lawmakers in Virginia as unconstitutional and illegal. The three parties contended that Ellen’s speaking to a group of people, presided over by Hon. Kettehkumehn Murray, instead of delivering same to the Legislature presided over by Speaker Edwin Snowe, confirms that the Executive branch is incapable of probing the bribery allegation in the House.
Addressing a news conference yesterday at the headquarters of the Liberty Party (LP) on Benson Street, the ad hoc spokesman for the three parties, Liberty Party’s National Chairman, Mr. Israel A. Akinsanya, told journalists that in the past, politicians who did not subscribe to democratic principles and the rule of law undermined the governments of others.
But he retorted that this time around, it is the president who has undermined her own government, saying “the President’s unconstitutional and unlawful action shakes the very foundation upon which a democratic government functions”.
The parties further contended that if the president was morally weak to uphold the rule of law, they do not expect offenders of the law to amend their ways, describing the attitude of the president as unfortunate and a sad day in the history of Liberia.
“It is too soon in her administration for such a grave departure from the rule of law and good governance, given the consequences to the body politic that the president’s action portends for our post conflict nation, the parties reminded president Sirleaf.
They named the controversial Nigeria - LPRC oil deal, the alleged printing of huge sums of banknotes by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the alleged embezzlement of some seven million United States dollars from the LPRC as reported by the UN panel of experts are convincing evidences to prove that she lacks the moral authority to fully investigate the bribery allegation that has engulfed the lower house.
The parties, LAP, NPP and the LP have called on the international community to immediately postpone the impending donors conference until the allegation of bribery is fully probed by an independent commission, and the culprits are brought to justice.
Arguing that such a conference at this time will only result into another lost opportunity for the country, the three parties added: “No nation that subscribes to the rule of democratic principles would provide funding for a government that does not believe in the rule of law.”
The three political institutions then warned the president to desist from all contacts and interactions with Representatives Edward Forh, Elijah Sieh and J. Alex Tyler, who are accused of being behind the distribution of bribery money to their colleagues until the matter is probed.
Meanwhile, the parties have called on President Sirleaf to immediately apologize to the Supreme Court and the people of Liberia for her alleged utter disregard for the rule of law. They further urged her to realize that until the Speaker, Hon. Edwin Snowe is removed as Speaker by the National Legislature, through the due process of law; he remains indeed, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.