Rule of Law: The Way Forward, Says Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh

By Robert Cummings

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
Posted December 20, 2017


In the midst of mounting concerns about Elections 2017, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh says that the Way Forward is action through the Rule of Law. Dr. Tipoteh made his Statement on the Way Forward over the weekend after reflecting on the increasingly numerous expressions of concerns about Elections 2017.

At the outset of his Statement, Dr. Tipoteh reminds us about his decision to step out of the Presidential Race because the 2017 Elections would not be fair. He said that the Election would not be fair because the National Elections Commission (NEC) did not have a credible Voter Registration Roll, without which it is universally considered that it is impossible to have any fair election.

Prior to his stepping out of the Presidential Race, Dr. Tipoteh, in his persistent efforts to promote fair elections, took the NEC Chairman to the Supreme Court of Liberia, claiming that the NEC Chairman must be removed from NEC because he is a citizen of the United States of America (USA), thereby violating the Rule of Law in Liberia. Dr. Tipoteh produced information provided by the USA government indicating that the NEC Chairman was sworn in as a USA citizen on December 21, 2007 with the naturalization number 30628201, having voted in the 2008 and 2016 USA Presidential Election, while he was residing in New Jersey, USA.

When the Tipoteh versus the NEC Chairman case was in the Supreme Court, Dr. Tipoteh observed that no Presidential Candidate in Liberia supported the case against the NEC Commissioner. However, Dr. Tipoteh, and most importantly, Liberia received support from the ECOWAS Authority and the African Union (AU when President Alpha Conde of Guinea made a Statement in Liberia, stressing the indispensability of the Rule of Law in the Electoral Process.

Through his Statement, Dr. Tipoteh is bringing to the attention of the People of Liberia and Friends of Liberia that the failure to follow the Rule of Law, as seen in the absence of a credible Voter Registration Roll, not to mention the unconstitutional performance of the NEC Chairman in his support for unfair elections, mentioned in the Senate, and the irrelevance of the Voter Registration Roll, stated in a Press Conference, denounced by NEC Commissioner Jonathan Weedor, led to the recognition of electoral irregularities in the October 2017 Election by the Supreme Court. According to Dr. Tipoteh, all of the unnecessary election-related tension and the potential for violence could have been prevented if there had been support for the Rule of Law, in practical terms, by the Political Parties prior to the October 10th Election. Nevertheless, Dr. Tipoteh asserts that it is never late to do the right thing, as in following the Rule of Law. Therefore, the "better than late" court actions of some Political Parties should be welcomed by all patriotic Liberians and not be considered as waste of time or delay tactics, especially after the People of Liberia have gone through the horrific Liberian Civil War experiences.

As the Supreme Court is the highest Court if Liberia, the Rule of Law, Dr. Tipoteh reminds us, calls for obeying the decisions of the Supreme Court. However, patriotic Liberians have a patriotic duty to use the Rule of Law to help the Supreme Court to follow the Rule of Law, as the Justices are all human beings and only God does not make mistake. Dr. Tipoteh says that the Supreme Court could use some patriotic help in its decisions related to the Code of Conduct and the Run-Off/Re-Run, respectively. In the case of the Code of Conduct, Dr. Tipoteh points out that any violation is a violation that must be punished, as there is no small or big violation. According to Dr. Tipoteh, it is essentially the overlooking of what some persons call small stealing that has led to corruption that has now become the uncontrollable vampire. In the case of the Run-Off/Re-Run, as the Court admits to the existence of irregularities in the October 10th Election, NEC must be punished by having a new and credible set of Commissioners to conduct the Re-Run of the Election. Dr. Tipoteh maintains that an unclean entity like NEC can not be ordered to render the unclean Final Registration Roll (FRR) unclean, which is like calling upon the blind to lead the blind, a COMPLETE NONSTARTER. Money arguments would be unacceptable here, Dr. Tipoteh insists, because by doing the wrong thing, no amount of money could bring back the life of one person who dies from electoral violence. Dr. Tipoteh concludes his Statement by calling on all Liberians and Friend of Liberia to do the right thing by following the Rule of Law to move Liberia forward for the better, as would be seen in the sustained improvement in the living standards of the People of Liberia. 

Signed: Robert Cummings
Media Affairs Director  



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