Liberians Challenge NEC Chairman’s Integrity to Conduct Election Runoff
Monrovia – With less than 14 days to the runoff presidential election, slated for December 26, Liberians have been reacting to whether the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, has the credibility to conduct a free, fair and transparent runoff.
Report by Augustine Tweh – [email protected]
Some Liberians are of the views that the recent Supreme Court’s ruling in which the NEC versus the Liberty Party along with its collaborating parties, including the ruling Unity party, is an indication that Cllr. Korkoya does not have the credibility to conduct the runoff election.
They argued that the October 10th Presidential and Legislative Elections were categorized by massive fraud and gross irregularities.
Others posit that the ruling of the Court wants NEC to commit to a free, fair and transparent runoff election despite the many challenges during the process.
In the nation’s highest court December 7th ruling, it acknowledged that the October 10th elections were to some extent characterized by fraud, irregularities and disregard of the New Elections Law.
But the Court, in its opinion/ruling, said that the malpractices were not on a magnitude/scale that warrants a rerun of the entire elections as requested by the Appellants—Liberty Party and Unity Party—which had propelled the allegations.
“That notwithstanding our findings that indeed there were some irregularities, fraud, and violations of the New Elections Law, as well as Rules and Regulations of the NEC, we hold that there is no evidence to show that those violations were in such magnitude that they rose to such level to warrant setting aside the results of the presidential and representative elections held on October 10, 2017 and ordering a rerun,” Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, III, who read the ruling on behalf of the Bench.
The Court’s ruling has sparked mixed views among Liberians ahead of the runoff and these discussions will go one for a very long time in our country’s history.
George Ben, Money Exchanger
“I have no trust in Chairman Korkoya. In fact Korkoya is not qualified for the position in my opinion.
The entire Board of Commissioners of the NEC supposed to have been changed.
The best thing to do at the NEC for integrity is to change everybody and install new commissioners because we want to have a good election that will not make one political party dissatisfy.
In my view, everybody at the NEC (Commissioners) should be changed and or replaced by new people and then clean the entire system because some people have two or three voters’ cards, which of course is not supposed to be.
Also the date set for the runoff by the NEC is not correct because from the 25th to the 26th is not correct especially where the 25th is a National Holiday that people will celebrate, so I think as a citizen the date set for the runoff is not correct.”
Bobby Cephas, Shoeshine boy
“Even though Chairman Jerome Korkoya performed very poorly during the first Presidential and Representative Elections, but I think he will perform better this time around during the runoff especially where the Supreme Court has mandated him to effectively implement the New Elections Law and clean up the system before proceeding with any election activity.
Also, the decision of the National Elections Commission to hold the runoff on December 26, I think is okay and welcoming because this entire election process has taken long until businesses are no longer effective.
So, I think the NEC needs to speed up with the process so we can go about our normal activities and put this election issue behind us once and for all.
James Thompson Fayiah
“We saw everything—fraud or irregularities — happening now in the past. Even the United States of America has the same problem, so this issue is obvious in every country’s election.
So, I believe that Chairman Korkoya should stay at the NEC as the Chairman to conduct the affairs of the NEC for the runoff. When Korkoya is changed, we will experience the same problem.
So, Korkoya should remain as head of the NEC to continue the runoff in order to avoid unnecessary delays which have the tendency to create economic instability.
Also the date announced by the National Elections Commission for the runoff is good because every election in this country always fall on Tuesday.”