According to Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, the Code of Conduct which is intended to guide every Government official against contesting for elected positions in the country has been violated by those senior officials of the Executive Branch who contested for various positions in the ruling party.
She is therefore asking these officials whose actions come in conflict with the law to resign. Senator Taylor spoke yesterday at a local political rally in Monrovia.
The Liberian lawyer particularly pointed fingers at Information Minister Eugene Nagbe, asking him to resign his position because his recent election as Secretary General of UP comes into conflict with the law.
Minister Nagbe was elected on Friday as Secretary General of the ruling Unity Party at the just ended national convention along with several other officials of Government including Vice President Joseph N. Boakai who replaced President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Standard Bearer of the party.
Senator Taylor said if Minister Nagbe does not resign it will send a wrong signal that would encourage other people to disregard the Code of Conduct, especially those wanting to contest for elected positions in 2017.
But Information Minister Eugene Nagbe has thrashed out the claims by those accusing him of violating the code of conduct, and challenged them to take him to court.
Minister Nagbe said as far as he is concerned, he is not in violation of law and he is prepared to go to court and defend his action for contesting the Secretary General position within the Unity Party.
Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that all officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices, use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisans or political activities, or serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.
According to 5.2 of the Code of Conduct, any person in the category stated in section 5.1 in the Code of Conduct above, persons desiring to canvass or contest for an elective public position; any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two years prior to the date of such public elections.
It also states that any 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.
However, in the case of impeachment, death, resignation or disability of an elected official, any official position listed in the Code of Conduct, desirous of canvassing or contesting to fill such position must resign said position within thirty days following the declaration by the National Elections Commission of the vacancy.