Opposition Parties Back NEC Chairman Amid Calls For Resignation Over Nationality
Monrovia – Following a slew of allegations that he possesses an American passport which is a violation of the Liberian Constitution and the new Elections Law, a group of opposition political parties has come to the defense of the embattled National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, amid challenges he faces to exonerate himself from claims that he holds a U.S. citizenship.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
The parties consist of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Union of Liberian Democratic (ULD) Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), Change Democratic Action (CDA) New Liberian Party (NLP) and the Victory for Change Party (VCP).
In a statement issued on Monday by the parties and read by Mr. Mulbah Morlu of the CDC, it stated: “The following signatories authorizing the release of this statement, being political parties sanctioned by their respective leaderships, herewith express an undaunted resolution to remaining viable partners in fostering the sustainable implementation of the 2017 General and Presidential elections timetable, which is being conducted under the Chairmanship of Cllr. Jerome Korkoya.”
“The following political parties, being seized of the obligation to continually support and advocate for a peaceful and credible conduct of the 2017 general and presidential elections, henceforth interpret calls for the resignation of the current Elections Commission Chairman as untimely, counterproductive, and ill-advised.”
“In a resolution signed by the 15 registered political parties states that; cognizance of the historic essence of the on-going electoral mechanism, which would ascertain the thrive of sustainable democratic governance through the smooth transfer of power from one democratic leadership to the next.
“And acknowledging the efforts of the current administration of the National Elections Commission and its international partners in the pursuit of this constitutional duty, though additional efforts would be expected in strengthening the commission’s technical, logistical and personnel infrastructure.
“And Taking into account the recognizable progress of the current elections timetable under the Jerome Korkoya-chaired Commission (and said Commission has already presided over several crucial steps that graduated these efforts to a crucial half-way mechanism), we denounce such calls for the resignation of the NEC chair and it is detrimental to the democratic stability of the country, since it could prove disruptive of the implementation timeline of the Commission, owing to the huge void that would be left to fill just few months to elections.”
Mr. Morlu, on behalf of the parties said, while they respect the fundamental rights of those making the case, they are not only concerned about the demands for provable facts under the circumstances, but believe the objective of the campaigners is being undermined by the Korkoya-led Commission’s successful conduct of several past elections, including the 2014 Senatorial and other bi-elections.
“Hence, in our opinion, arguing against the legitimacy of Cllr. Jerome Korkoya as Chairman of the Commission is tantamount to an attempting delegitimization of fifteen Senators and several Lawmakers elected under his gavel as Chairman.
“This misguided approach amplifies our collective endorsement of this communiqué duly authorized with a view to sustaining our democracy and preventing its stumble into chaos, waiting to be exploited by anti-peace zealots,” the resolution stated.
Morlu, who has a record of criticizing the appointment of Korkoya and also lying that he met former U.S. President Barack Obama in Ghana, said while political parties continue to express specific concerns over certain aspects of the on-going electoral process, they also believe all Liberians should be seen as supportive of the free, fair and transparent conduct of the 2017 democratic elections under the administration of the current Chairman and Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission of Liberia.