Lawyer Against Holding Of Special Election…Flees To The Supreme Court

The Managing Director of the Justice and Public Interest Consortium Africa (JUPICA), Attorney Edwin K. Martin has described the holding of senatorial elections amid the current Ebola virus outbreak as dangerous and counterproductive in the fight against the virus.   He has therefore filed a petition for a writ of prohibition at the Supreme Court of Liberia in his own name as a Liberian citizen to prohibit, restrain and stop the National Elections Commission from proceeding with the conduct of the senatorial elections.
In the petition, Attorney Martin contended that as a Liberian citizen, he feels threatened and completely defenseless and lives in utter fear and a state of panic and dismay to see that the national Elections Commission and the Government of Liberia are going ahead with the holding of senatorial elections which would be characterized by campaigns, huge public gatherings and in which crowds will rub against each other in violation of the procedures set in place to fight Ebola.
The petition quoted Attorney Martin as saying the senatorial elections and its rallies and huge gatherings will further exacerbate the current Ebola crisis and will lead to new Ebola cases at an alarming rate which could lead to more premature and untimely deaths of Liberian citizens across the country.
Attorney Martin according to the petition added that he feels vulnerable and is deeply frightened that as horrific as the projections for the astronomical rise in new Ebola cases is, and could reach an alarming proportions, based on the forecasts from the Center for Disease Control(CDC) and the World Health Organization( WHO), from 10,000 by November 30, 2014 to 1.4m by mid-January 2015, the Government of Liberia and the National Elections Commission have disregarded or are openly advising people to flagrantly disregard all of the fundamental safety measures put in place against huge public gatherings, over-crowdedness simply to hold elections for 15 senators at the expense of the lives of his fellow compatriots. SEE FULL TEXT BELOW:

The Managing Director of the Justice and Public Interest Consortium Africa (JUPICA), Attorney Edwin K. Martin has described the holding of senatorial elections amid the current Ebola virus outbreak as dangerous and counterproductive in the fight against the virus and has therefore filed a petition for a writ of prohibition at the Supreme Court of Liberia in his own name as a Liberian citizen to prohibit, restrain and stop the National Elections Commission from proceeding with the conduct of the senatorial elections.

In the petition, Attorney Martin contended that as a Liberian citizen, he feels threatened and completely defenseless and lives in utter fear and a state of panic and dismay to see that the national Elections Commission and the Government of Liberia are going ahead with the holding of senatorial elections which would be characterized by campaigns, huge public gatherings and in which crowds will rub against each other in violation of the procedures set in place to fight Ebola.

The petition quoted Attorney Martin as saying the senatorial elections and its rallies and huge gatherings will further exacerbate the current Ebola crisis and will lead to new Ebola cases at an alarming rate which could lead to more premature and untimely deaths of Liberian citizens across the country.

Attorney Martin according to the petition added that he feels vulnerable and is deeply frightened that as horrific as the projections for the astronomical rise in new Ebola cases is, and could reach an alarming proportions, based on the forecasts from the Center for Disease Control(CDC) and the World Health Organization( WHO), from 10,000 by November 30, 2014 to 1.4m by mid-January 2015, the Government of Liberia and the National Elections Commission have disregarded or are openly advising people to flagrantly disregard all of the fundamental safety measures put in place against huge public gatherings, over-crowdedness simply to hold elections for 15 senators at the expense of the lives of his fellow compatriots;

Contending further, he added that he lives in horror and is deeply distressed in that despite the fact that all schools, hospital and major economic institutions have closed down and all foreign investors have fled the Republic of Liberia and their return is contingent upon the defeat of the killer Ebola virus, the Government has not mobilized or set aside sufficient precious economic and financial resources to fight the deadly Ebola virus, instead, the Government is only interested in setting aside huge financial resources to hold senatorial elections which could exacerbate the spread of the killer Ebola virus.

He says he harbors the fear that schools, hospitals and economic institutions will remain perpetually shut down because there is a likelihood for more and new Ebola cases from 10,000 at the end of November, 2014 to 1 .4m(one million four hundred thousand) by mid-January 2015, according to both CDC and WHO, which could lead to alarming death rate of more citizens most of whom are his relatives, friends and fellow compatriots.

The human rights added in his petty that he fears that the future of his little sons and daughters, including the children of Liberia, who are the “precious jewels” and future leaders of our country is gambled and trampled underfoot in violation of Article 6 of the 1986 Constitution by the continued closure of educational facilities as a result of the deadly Ebola virus and the Government being the custodian and protector or defender of the sovereign rights of petitioner and all Liberians, specifically with the power to protect life and property, has done nothing or is showing no sign that it cares or is worried about the danger that the Ebola virus poses to the stability of the Liberian state and the happiness of its people.

He informed the Chamber justice that the Government of Liberia has lost focus in the war on Ebola for the fact that it is interested in conducting elections for 15 senators rather than intensifying the war to eradicate Ebola, thus, its actions at the detriment of Petitioner, the lives of millions of Liberians is not only self-serving but is counterproductive to the peace and security of all Liberians and noted that the Republic of Liberia is slipping into the abysmal path of self-destruction if the purported senatorial elections although unconstitutional and inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 46 and 37 are held when there is no vacancy at the Honorable Liberian Senate which is the only constitutional condition under which elections are held to fill in vacancies.

Arguing further in his petition filed on his behalf by the Justice and Public Interest Consortium Africa, Attorney Martin added that though the Government and NEC are aware of this, and also know that there will be no international electoral observers because of the present of the Ebola virus which the Government through President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says is still prevalent, it is callously proceeding to hold elections that could turn out to be a recipe for chaos, public unrests and instability and he fears that this could again frustrate any attempts to open schools, hospitals and major economic institutions, thus the future of the children of Liberia remains bleak because of the atrocious conduct of the Government and the National Elections Commission to sport with lives of Petitioner’s children and the children of Liberia.

Concluding Attorney Martin observed that the holding of senatorial elections amid the current Ebola virus amounts to misplaced priority, which he believes will further harm the national treasury and could undermine the future allocation of financial resources to support educational and health institutions when they are reopened because by then, the national treasury would have been be reduced to a “sorry state” and the resources therein would have been squandered or spent to fund an electrical process that will not save life and property but instead, could lead to the spread of Ebola cases fourfold.

He also said the he fears the holding of elections at this time because the current senatorial elections have no voter rolls and this could become a recipe for chaos and confusion which could undermine the current democratic order and plunge the entire country into serious political crisis in the event where one contestant challenges the nonexistent of voters’ roll as a basis of its defeat.

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