‘Modern Day Slavery’
House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers has compared the reported act of trucking of voters to what he termed as ‘‘modern day slavery’’.
Speaker Chambers says article 77(b) of the Liberian Constitution, among other things, guarantees every Liberian citizen not less than 18 years of age, the right to be registered as a voter and to vote in public elections and referendums.
He furthered that article 12 of the Liberian Constitution also provides that no person shall be held in slavery or forced labor within the Republic, nor shall any citizen of Liberia or any person resident therein deal in slaves or subject any other person to forced labor, debt bondage or peonage among others.
Considering both constitutional provisions, the Speaker is in strong opposition to the act of trucking registrants as part of the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process, ahead of the October Presidential and Legislative Elections.
According to him, attempts by aspirants to influence voter registration is in sharp contraction to the constitution and an act similar to slavery.
He added that the decisions of those reportedly trucked are compromised and influenced by their truckers, a method applied during the colonial period when slavery was the order of the day.
The Speaker is of the conviction that such undermines development and representation to a certain extent, and therefore, it should not be encouraged.
Speaker Chambers made the statement during awareness of his constituents to participate in the ongoing BVR process to avoid being trucked.
Slavery is a condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel, and was deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons.