J K K Peah
Liberia, a peculiar country and a savvy politically -inclined citizenry and known for shattering the unthinkable despite its size and meager population is anchored to the arch of history to new frontiers this October as the country goes to the polls to elect a new President to replace President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf whose tenure in office expires next January.
With 19 political parties and candidates in counting according to the country’s Election Commission in a country of 4.6 million people and 43 ,000 land miles, this small West African nation is confronted with an electioneering calamity as three candidates contesting for the Presidency Presidential bids are threatened because of evidence filtering in the country and on social media revealing the two Presidential candidates, namely soccer legend and now Senator, George Weah, former Coco Cola executive, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings are United States citizens and the country’s former Central Bank Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones who failed to resign from office three years before an election as a tenure appointee under the Liberian “Code of Conduct” ambitions for the Presidency is poised to come to abrupt end.
The soccer legend is the Presidential candidate of his party, the Congress for Democratic Change-CDC, the largest opposition party in the country and is contesting for the second for the Presidency, the first time he ran for President was two 2005 and ran as Vice Standard Bearer.
With the discovery of Senator Weah’s United States passport revealing his American citizenship circling on social media and in the hands of any Liberian with a smart phone, has opened a scandal of epic proportion that the soccer legend is not eligible to run for public office because he has given up his Liberian citizenship and therefore can not contest for office in Liberian election under the constitution and election laws of the country and is in violation of the Aliens and Nationality law which stipulates, any Liberian who naturalizes or fights for a foreign army loses his or her citizenship.
Senator Weah’s U S passport circulating on social media reveals he was issued the passport on May 3, 2013 and it expires on May 3, 2023.
The puzzle of when did the Liberian opposition leader acquire his United States citizenship looms but his United States passport was issued in 2013 and he ran for the Liberian Senate in 2014 and by then he was a citizen of the United States, which made him ineligible to run public office in Liberia.
Senator Weah’s United States citizenship is no longer a secret to him but public knowledge and brings home the glaring realization that he lied to the National Election Commission, his party and the people of Liberia by impersonating as Liberian citizen and unlawfully running for public office and participating in politics in Liberia, melting into the country’s politics by leader a political party and attempting to contest for President in October, 2017.
Senator Weah is an “unlawful Lawmaker” sitting the chambers of the Liberian Senate making laws for Liberia when he is not a Liberian citizen or is eligible to occupy a Senate in the Liberian Senate.
Senator Weah’s US citizenship revelation unveils so much headaches including how was his wife could had voted in Liberia when he holds a foreign citizenship which automatically made him relinquished Liberian citizenship and she would not had been eligible to vote.
For Mrs Weah to had been or be qualified to vote in Liberia, according to Aliens and Nationality law of Liberia, she would lived in Liberia consistently for three years and not leave the country until naturalization was complete.
Senator Weah’s wife at no time spent six months in Liberia, let alone three years to be qualified for naturalization as a Liberian citizen by which she would be qualified to vote in Liberia.
Acquiring Liberian citizenship by naturalization is a gruesome Process, an applicant has to file “Intent” with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Montserrado County or the County where applicant resides if he or she does not live in Monrovia as quoted below:
Aliens and Nationality Act:
21.2. Declaration of intention.
Any alien eligible for naturalization who desires to become a citizen of Liberia shall, a prerequisite, appear in person before the clerk of the Circuit Court in the county in which such alien resides and sign a declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the Republic of Liberia and to renounce his former nationality when the oath of allegiance is administered. The declarant shall give his name, place and date of birth, present and former nationalities, if any, occupation, marital status, present address, last foreign residence, and all informa-tion pertaining to his entrance to Liberia. A person who has filed a declaration of intention may, in the discretion of the President be given three months free lodging at the expense of the Government.
From all indication, Senator Weah’s wife did not go through the process and hearing heard for her naturalization and ultimately taking the Liberian Oath of citizenship and present a certificate of renunciation of her United States citizenship.
Voting in Liberia’s elections as Senator Weahh’s wife, Clara Weah did when she is not a Liberian citizen is a criminal offense and the Senator is an accomplice to her crime and violation of the election laws which mandate that non Liberian and a dual citizen are ineligible to run for public office or vote in Liberia.
For the former Coco Cola executive, Alexander B. Cummings, he openly told a Liberian town meeting in 2016 in Minnesota that “I carry American passport”, responding question whether he is an American citizen even though Liberia have dual citizenship and a Liberian acquires a foreign citizen, that automatically relieved that person of their Liberian citizenship.
This self-reveling of his American citizenship, makes Mr Alexander Cummings ineligible to run for public office in Liberia and as evident that the former Coco Cola executive, now leader of a political party, Alternative National Congress, has violated the election laws of Liberia, committing fraudulent registration crime as stipulated below:
Article 24. Fraudulent Registration:
Article 24.1 The following acts constitute election offences during the Voter Registration process and are punishable as provided for under Chapter 10, Section 10.2(1) of the 1986 new election laws:
(a) Making a false statement to an election officer at any point of the Voter Registration process, including a statement on the residence of voter:
(b) Impersonating when applying to register to vote
(e) Any fraudulent act relating to voter registration.
Former Central Bank Governor of Liberia for his part is ineligible to run for public office this election circle because he is in violation of the Liberian “Code of Conduct” as seen because he failed to resigned when the it was enacted into law in 2014 until late 2015 before he resigned from the Central Bank of Liberia as Governor, as seen below.
Part V: Political Participation
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 (3) years prior to the date of such public elections.
The National Election Commission of Liberia could have so much on its hands to deal with this election circle considering these revelations. It is certain the Liberian public, groups, candidates and political parties will take these issues up with the National Election Commission to disqualify these candidates who are ineligible to vote and run for public from participating in the October election.
It remains to be seen whether these three candidates and maybe more to come ineligible and impersonating candidates will appear on the ballot in October knowing that are not eligible to vote and if the National Election Commission will do due diligence to screen and verify information candidates will give including their country of citizenship as well as the Commission having the spine and fortitude to transparently hear cases that will be brought against these three candidates ineligibilities and others and disqualify them from participating in the elections if the evidences presented prove the complaint’s case.