MONROVIA – The Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. Jallah A. Barbu, has called on the government of Liberia to initiate a step-by-step process of absentee voting for Liberians who are out of Liberia to partake in the electoral process by voting from their respective diaspora destinations.
By Francis G. Boayue, FPA Staff Reporter
Cllr. Barbu made the remarks on Thursday, at the sixth edition of the Institute for Constitutional Research, Policy, and Strategic Development (ICRPSD) roundtable discussion on the topic: “Can I vote in 2023 Elections While out of Liberia as a citizen?”
Speaking to over 20 people including lawyers, lawmakers, and representatives of the All-Liberian Conference on dual citizenship, Cllr. Barbu noted that, for government to deprive its citizens of the right to enjoy choosing who should lead them on the basis of lack of resources is absolutely improper and unconstitutional.
According to him, a step-by-step process of absentee voting will send a message as a substantial step towards correcting a problem which he believes, the government including the Legislature should do.
Cllr. Barbu maintained in his presentation: “The constitutional right to vote in absentia, guarantee for absentee in the Liberian constitution of January 6, 1985.”
He said 36 years ago, Liberians established a new constitution replacing the Constitution that had governed them since July 1847 (139 years).
Cllr. Barbu further said during the roundtable discussion, on the topic, “Does a citizen of the Republic of Liberia have the fundamental right to freely and fairly cast a ballot in any political election, irrespective of where he or she is at the time of election” was important as the country gears up for election.
He maintained that the constitution and preamble set the basis for the establishment of each provision of our Constitution.
He said it is clear in the constitution that there should not be any segregation between Liberians for any reason as citizens are constituents of one unit regardless of their history.
He then emphasized the need for the government to make laws that will unify citizens and not divide them, adding that more significantly the need to afford every Liberian justice and protection of their human rights including them voting as Liberians who are out of Liberia to partake in Liberia’s electoral processes ahead of 2023 Elections.