Fifteen political parties that were deregistered by the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice recently have reacted to the Court’s ruling.
The affected parties through their Chairman, Rev. Victor Saylee, expressed dismay and rejection of the ruling of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court of Montserrado County presided over by Judge Peter Gbeninwuleh.
They described the ruling as ‘unconstitutional’ and a recipe for conflict. According to the Liberia News Agency, Rev. Saylee, who is also the National Chairman of the Original Congress Party of Liberia, made the statement late Friday evening in Monrovia in an interview with a team of journalists.
The deregistered political parties are: the National Vision Party of Liberia, National Union for Democratic Progress, Citizens Unification Party, Freedom Alliance Party, Original Congress Party, Liberia Empowerment Party, Progressive Democratic Party, Liberia Destiny Party, National Reformation Party, National Democratic Party of Liberia, Liberia Reconstruction Party, National Social Democratic Party of Liberia, Liberia Equal Rights Party, Majority Party of Liberia and Progressive People’s Party.
The court handed down the ruling in May this year.
It was based on a petition filed by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in February 10, 2014 seeking the revocation of the registration and accreditation of 20 political parties.
According to the petition, the political parties violated Articles 83(d) and 79 (c)(i) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia as well as Part II, Chapter IV of the Guidelines relating to the registration of political parties and independent candidates.
Article 83(d) of the Constitution of Liberia makes it mandatory that every political party in Liberia shall on September 1 of each year publish and submit to the NEC detailed statements of assets and liabilities.
These shall include the enumeration of sources of funds and other assets, plus a list of expenditures.
Article 79(c) (i) in relevant part mandates that no association shall function as a political party, unless the headquarters of the association is situated in the Republic’s capital.
Part II, Chapter IV of the Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates mandates that “each political party shall maintain an updated bank account with a balance not less than US$10,000 or its equivalent in Liberian Dollars.”
Rev. Saylee called on the international community, including the International Contact Group on Liberia, Mano River Union, and UNMIL to intervene so that the court can reconsider its decision.
Speaking further, Rev. Saylee assured the parties’ readiness to carry out a nation-wide peaceful demonstration which, he said, will begin at the NEC headquarters to register their dissatisfaction over the court’s ruling.
He said the demonstration is intended to resist any attempt to impose laws that are not consistent with the Liberian Constitution.
Meanwhile, the petition to revoke the registration and accreditation of the remaining five political parties is still pending before the Civil Law Court.
The parties are Liberia National Union, National Democratic Coalition, Alliance for Peace and Democracy, Liberia Transformation Party and Republican Party.