Minister Kamara’s nomination paper was rejected by the Commission on grounds that he is in violation of the new elections law and the Code of Conduct for public officials.
In its response to the petition yesterday, the electoral body through its legal counsel, Joseph N. Blidi, said the petitioner has committed an egregious and flagrant violation of the Code of Conduct by the fact that he is still serving as Assistant Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and intends to use Government resources to canvass and contest in the pending elections.
He said the decision to reject the petitioner’s candidacy was consistent with the New Election laws, the Code of Conduct and the Candidate Nomination Regulations, Article 3.3 subsection (a), May 6, 2016.
Article 3.3, subsection (a) of the Candidate Nomination Regulations mandates that all aspirants must meet the candidate eligibility criteria established by the Constitution of Liberia, the Elections Law, other laws and NEC Regulation. The Court is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of “other laws” and the fact that the Code of Conduct would qualify as “other law(s)”.
“Respondent says the Code of Conduct is not being retroactively applied as it was enacted more than three years before the pending elections. Respondent had ample time to resign. The code is therefore applicable to him and respondent says the six month rule contained in the ECOWAS Protocol is also non-applicable in the instant case, because the code was passed in 2014, more than six months before the 2017 elections,” he argued.
He said “wherefore, and in view of the foregoing, respondent respectfully prays, Your Honor, to quash the alternative writ of prohibition issued, deny the issuance of the preemptory writ of prohibition, thereby denying and dismissing the petition for the writ of prohibition in its entirety, and grant unto respondent any other and further relief as Your Honors may deem just, legal and equitable in the premises.”
The hearing will continue today at 1pm.