Written by EFLA
The European Federation of Liberia Associations (EFLA) at its Annual Congress in Maribor, Slovenia recently voted unanimously to call on Liberians not to participate or vote in the August 23, 2011 Constitutional Referendum organized by the National Elections Commission (NEC). “If however you have to exercise your franchise, then EFLA urges all registered voters to vote NO on all of the four (4) proposals submitted by the Liberian Government.”
EFLA’s based its position on the disregard for due process noting “our argument on the pending referendum is not about the issues submitted by the Liberian Government to be voted upon, but rather the legality of the process leading to the call for a referendum when the entire prerequisite for holding said referendum were not met. ELFA argues that the referendum does not represent the interest of the Liberian people, and adds further that “any process which fails to adhere to the organic laws of the country will lead to fraud, and consequently plunge the country back into instability”.
In its position statement, ELFA made reference to Chapter 12 (Amendments) Articles 91 & 92 of the Constitution of Liberia declaring that the Referendum of August 23rd, 2011 does NOT meet all the requirements of the constitution which are namely:
• the proposals should be published in the National Gazette and circulated throughout the Republic of Liberia via its information service;
• the referendum must be held not sooner than one year after the action of the Legislature;
The position of Liberians in Europe, they noted is that Monrovia is not Liberia and thus, citizens especially the registered voters in the interior parts of the country are not aware exactly as to why they should be leaving their farms and places of earning their livelihood to go to vote.
Similar situations they said resulted in the low turnout in all the bi-elections held by the National Elections Commission and such quick fix solutions to issues concerning the nation future is wrong and EFLA will not support the government’s effort in altering the course of history.
The statement concluded “EFLA maintains that Liberia’s democracy is fragile and actions taken should be in the interest of the entire nation’s peace, security and stability or else creates a panacea for plunging the country into the dark era that led to the 14 years uncivil war. The pending Referendum did not meet our constitutional urgency and concludes that Liberians should vote NO!”
John Nimly Brownell, President
European Federation of Liberian Associations – EFLA
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