JPC Wants NTLA to Pass into Law Electoral Reform Bill without Delay


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 17, 2004

The Catholic Justice & Peace Commission (JPC), is calling on the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) to pass into law Electoral Reform Bill submitted to it by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

JPC said, as the final restoration of genuine peace to Liberia hinges squarely on the holding of the 2005 general and presidential elections in the country, it would amount to a disservice of astronomical proportion on the part of the current Legislature not to pass the Electoral Reform Bill into law on grounds that NTLA is not clothed with the authority to do so.

The Catholic JPC reminded the NTLA members that the same extra-constitutional arrangement which placed them at the Capitol Building gives the unfettered authority to take any decision, including the passage into law of the current electoral bill without regards to the Liberian Constitution, for the purpose of bringing peace to “our common patrimony as provided for under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.”

Meanwhile, JPC has described as “legally unjustifiable and total disregard for fundamental human rights recent threats by the Liberia National Police that from now on it would arrest for questioning people living in the vicinity of an arson attack.”

According to JPC release, such threat does not only bespeak the police’s apparent inability to distinguish criminals from law-abiding citizens, but an attempt on the part of LNP to divert the public’s attention from the clarion calls for an independent investigation into the cause of the recent violence in the city.

With discriminate arrest threat from the police, the release noted, the indisposition or unwillingness of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), to investigate the recent violence is becoming abundantly evident thereby condoning, like its predecessor, the culture of impunity in the Liberian society.

JPC then called on the government to launch a full scale investigation into the imbroglio with the view to bringing to justice those responsible for the recent unwarranted destruction of lives and property in the city. “Anything to the contrary, the JPC firmly believes, will create the impression that the incident had the tacit government’s approval,” the further noted.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.