Simeon Freeman Expresses Apprehension Over Liberia’s 2017 Election
Monrovia – Elections are going to be risky if the government is does not intervene, the political leader of the Movement of Progressive Change, Simeon Freeman, has warned.
Report by Edwin G. Genoway – [email protected]
He said the budget of the National Elections Commission is low and it is a worrying concern for all.
He disclosed that the NEC requested for US$25 Million for the conduct of the election but the amount was reduced to US$20 Million.
He further explained that out of the US$20 Million for the NEC, only US$8m the NEC has received.
“Even the US$8m that was given to the NEC was given in bit and pieces,” he said.
“How do you expect them to operate smoothly when there is no money?
The printing of ballots papers is very expensive and if the budget issue for the NEC is not solved, it will be used as one of the reasons to postpone the elections.”
The MPC political leader noted that he is worried about the possibility of the elections being held when the government is ignoring things that could possibly put the elections at risk.
“The election is at risk if all these distractions created by government is not settled. During the 2011 elections because, this president was a candidate, she did all she could do to curtail violence and that the election is possible,” he narrated.
Mr. Freeman cited the lack of funds to support the work of NEC.
He made the observation Monday, April 17, 2017, at the MPC headquarters in Monrovia. He said the high cost of government’s expenditure is unfavorable to holding elections in the country.
He highlighted the standoff between residents of 72nd Barracks (Camp Ramrod) and officials of the Ministry of Defense as a potential threat to the holding of the elections in October 2017.
Commenting on the allegation that the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, is an American citizen who voted in 2008 that ushered President Barrack Obama to the White House, the MPC political leader said any new appointment by the President to replace the current chair of the commission has to go through confirmation and Liberians need to structure themselves in a way to ensure that the elections are held because election issues border on peace and security.
He described calls for Cllr. Korkoya’s resignation as non-issue intended to disrupt the elections, saying government should focus on the funding of the elections which is more important than the call for his resignation.
He noted that President Sirleaf has appointed many people in government that are American, adding that -“The resignation of Korkoya should be non-issue.
This guy was confirmed by the Senate and has conducted two different elections, why now is all this calls for his resignation in this critical times of elections? I see all this as distraction for elections not being possible,” he noted.