Commerce Inspector General Resigns to Contest In Defiance of Supreme Court’s Order
MONROVIA – Ahead of October’s Presidential and Legislative elections, the Inspector General of the Ministry of Commerce, Josephine Davis has officially resigned from her post following President George Weah’s Executive Order #117.
Writing on her official Facebook page, Madam Davis expressed appreciation to President George Weah for the confidence reposed in her to serve as commerce Inspector General.
“I appreciate the opportunity for growth and development you have provided me during my tenure of service to the nation,” she said.
“Thank you also for the continued guidance and support. With the fear of God and his wisdom, I can proudly say, we did a great job at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry with a marvelous group of inspectors around the country,”
The Montserrado District #10 aspirant at the same time boasted of doing a great job at the Commerce Ministry while appreciating her colleagues for their support.
However, if her resignation is accepted by President Weah, it will defy the Supreme Court’s prohibition placed on the President’s Executive Order.
The Supreme Court, acting on a petition by the Economic Freedom Fighters, temporarily halted President George Weah’s executive order #117 which calls for presidential appointees desiring to contest October 10 2023 to resign before April 7.
On March 14 this year, President Weah issued an Executive Order mandating all government officials desiring to contest the October 10, elections to resign before April 7. According to the Executive Mansion, the President’s action was in accordance with Section 5.2 of the amended 2014 Code of Conduct.”
However, Weah has faced significant criticism for implementing the law within a significantly short period. Section 5.2 of the amended law reduces the resignation period for officials from a maximum of three years to just one year.
The President however acknowledged the one-year resignation clause but pointed out that with only seven months left until the elections, the amended Act cannot prevent public officials from participating in the October 10 election.
The President maintained that the executive order was necessary to establish a fair political playing field, citing his compelling interest; consequently, mandating presidential appointees to resign six months before the country’s elections.”
But the opposition EFFL, in a writ of prohibition requested the High Court to prevent the government from enforcing the President’s order, claiming that it violates the 2014 Code of Conduct (CoC) and its amended version in 2022.
The writ argued that the presidential decision is against the meaning of the Code of Conduct Act since the law is being implemented only a few months before the October 10 elections instead of the required one-year notice.
The writ states, “We request Your Honor to declare Executive Order 117 illegal and with no force or legal effect. The petitioner contends that laws are not retroactive and therefore not applicable to anyone appointed by the President of Liberia at this point since the publishing date”.
By: Emmanuel Toe