By J K K Peah
MONROVIA-About seven months to countdown to Liberia’s third democratic election on October 10, 2017, several Presidential aspirants are hitting road blocks as many are increasingly being found ineligible to contest.
The latest and first to be found ineligible to contest the country’s October election by the Supreme Court of Liberia’s Thursday ruling in which the Court upheld the Code of Conduct is former Central Bank Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones.
The National Code of Conduct, enacted into law in 2014 stipulates in articles 5 (b) and (c) requires executive appointees to resign from office two years prior to an election year while executive tenured appointees must resign their position three years prior to election year if they desire to contest in an election.
Governor Jones, former Central Bank Governor of Liberia is Standard Bearer of one of Liberia’s newly created opposition party, Movement for Economic Empowerment-“MOVEE” resigned from the Central Bank in late 2015, two years to the 2017 election year, falling short of the required three years benchmark given to tenured appointee as the position of Central Bank Governor is a tenured appointment.
Dr Jones and others challenged the National Code of Conduct constitutionality at the Supreme Court of Liberia and had been building his party while the case was before the country’s highest Court hoping the ruling would had gone their way.
The Thursday ruling effectively ends Dr Jones quest for the Presidency and his party MOVEE could be scouting for new Standard Bearer for his replacement.
Other aspirants effectively disqualified by the Thursday ruling of the country’s highest court is Ambassador Jeremiah Slunteh, former Liberian Ambassador to the United States and Vice Standard Bearer to Mr Alexander Cummings, form Coco Cola Executive of the Alternative National Congress who himself faces disqualification because he carries American passport and a United States citizen and foreign citizen are not allow to participate in Liberia politics neither can dual citizen contest for public office though Liberia does not have a dual citizen law.
Ambassador Slunteh stepped down from his position in about late December, 2016 and joined Mr Alexander Cummings as his Vice Standard Bearer.
The National Code of Conduct languished in the Liberian Legislature for five 95) years before being enacted into law in 2014-it meant to compromised conflict of interest and mandated by the constitution of Liberia.
Attached is the National Code of Conduct: