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The plenary of the Liberian Senate has trashed and thrown into the dust bin an Act calling for the repeal of the National Code of Conduct of 2014. The body reached the decision Tuesday during a regular session held on Capitol Hill.

According to the Liberian Senate, their decision to trash the document was based on the unconstitutional nature of the Act, something which in their minds could carry the country backward.
The plenary`s decision was followed by a report submitted by its committee on Judiciary after a proper and intense scrutiny of the Draft Act. According to the committee’s report, repealing the newly passed Code Conduct would mean that the country could be left without such a document until it is replaced, something which the committee thinks is a violation of the constitution of the country.
“The judiciary committee noted with grave concern that a repeal of the 2014 Code of Conduct would mean that Liberia could have no Code of Conduct until there is a replacement thereof. The judiciary committee also observed that a repeal of the 2014 CoC would then constitute a violation of the constitution, which mandates that the legislature shall prescribe a Code of Conduct,” the committee report stated.
The committee stated in its report also that in order to remain complaint to the constitution of Liberia, the Bill submitted by one of the Senators should be rejected and set aside, adding that if the Senate believes that there is any flaws, said flaws should be handled by an amendment.
It can be recalled that the Act was submitted by Maryland County Senator, Dan Morais last Thursdayon grounds that the Code of Conduct has been undermined by the executive branch of government, particularly President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Senator Morais said his decision to call for a repeal of the CoC is triggered by recent ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in the case involving Liberty Party vice standard bearer, Harrison Karnwea and the Alternative National Congress (ANC) vice standard bearer, Jeremiah Sulunteh verses the National Elections Commission (NEC).
According to a communication attached to the Act submitted by Senator Morais, the repealing process is necessary because he thinks that the cardinal purpose for which the code was established has now been reversed by the ruling of the Supreme Court.
“The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to set standards of behavior and the conduct requires of public officials and employees of government, it shall guide, regulate and ensure compliance with the norms and behaviors required of all public officials and employees of government. It is designed and shall be implemented, to ensure impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity and effectiveness in the performance of their duties and mandates,” Senator Morais’ stressed in the communication.
The Maryland County Senator indicated that the ruling of the Supreme Court renders the Code of Conduct unattainable, thus, laws made by the legislature only enforceable when it is validated by its constitutionality.
Senator Morais asserted that he wonders why would a law which has been in force since 2014 will now be opinionated by the Supreme Court in a form of a ruling, adding that the legislature can only respond to the action of the Supreme Court through repealing the entire Code of Conduct.
“Where are the impartiality, objectivity, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness when people who have wantonly and fragrantly violated the Code of Conduct which became eligibility criteria almost three years ago and a subject of review in 2017 can celebrate,” Senator Morais noted.
The National Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker said he believes the Code of Conduct has been undermined by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, revealing that the President told the legislature that this Code of Conduct is a bad law and her lawyers were going to meet the lawmakers on how they can dialogue to have it disregard in the ensuing October polls.
Senator Morais stated that he does not see any justice and fairness in a level playing field leading to a free, credible, transparent and democratic election process when the violation of an eligibility criterion of an election is now a subject other than a disbandment or disqualification.

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