Liberia: CPP Petitions the Supreme Court to Halt and Cancel the Ongoing Voter Roll Update Exercises
Monrovia – Liberia leading opposition group, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) says it has come to a point where it has instituted a legal and sustained political action to have the National Election Commission (NEC) correct all of its missteps before the December 8, 2020, Special Senatorial Elections and subsequently 2023 Presidential and General Elections.
The Chairman of CPP and political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Mr. Alexander Cummings made the assertion during a press conference at the Headquarters of the CPP Wednesday. The statement was also backed the Rainbow Coalition, one of the major political groups in the country.
Mr. Cummings says they (CPP) have made several attempts to work with the NEC to have the Voter Roll cleaned but to no avail.
According to the CPP Chairman, NEC’s technicians failed to provide technicians representing CPP a copy of the voter roll. He added that their technicians were prevented from having access to areas NEC claimed that the voters roll cleaning process was taking place.
Mr. Cummings disclosed that on September 10, 2020, the CPP wrote the Board of Commissioners of the NEC expressing their disappointment over the manner in which the National Election Commission was proceeding with the processes leading up to the December 8, 2020 senatorial elections.
He added that they (CPP) have left them (CPP) with no other alternative than to commence legal and sustained political actions to correct all the missteps they raised in our communications dated on September 10th and 18th of September.
“On Friday of this week, our lawyers will file a Petition for the Writ of Prohibition before the Supreme Court calling for an immediate halt and cancellation of the ongoing Voter Roll Update Exercises until these issues which border on the credibility of the elections are fully addressed We ask all of our supporters to assemble at the Headquarters of the Liberty Party at 10 A.M on Friday for a special march to the Temple of Justice where the action will be filed,” CPP Chairman Cummings said.
CPP Chairman added that with the collaboration of the opposition bloc including the Rainbow Coalition, they will engage in a civil but sustained political action until the very serious issues they have raised are addressed.
Mr. Cummings added: “These political actions will take place in all 15 counties but with focus on our capital. We will draw the attention of the world to the blatant display of the poor handling of our electoral processes which has the propensity to derail our fragile peace and security.”
In May of this year, the National Election Commission announced the cancellation of the Senatorial Election that was slated for October to December 8. Mr. Cummings says the postponement of the Special Senatorial Elections from October to December had not reached the full cooperation with political parties.
At the event, all the political leaders of the four Collaborating Political Parties were in attendance and mounted the podium with a statement as a mean of backing the declaration made by their Chairman, Mr. Cummings- and the actions to follow.
Speaking at the event, the former Vice President Joseph Boakai says base on the present leadership of the country, Liberia is not in a normal situation.
“Our country is not safe in the hands that we have now. The officials of our country are in jeopardy. Democratic value is disappearing, the National Election Commission and the magistrates are all hand picks to defer the Liberian people of good leadership,” former VP Boakai said.
Liberty Party political leader and candidate for the senatorial race of Grand Bassa County Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence speaking says the required funding to carry on the proper voters roll update has not been provided by the national Government.
Madam Lawrence added that the National Election Commission budget was reduced from US$27 million to US$13 million; something she says could hamper the smooth operation of NEC.
“The ongoing process is characterized by fraud and malpractices and cannot be handled by NEC. US$13 million is not sufficient for the conduct of free, fair and transparent and credible election,” Madam Lawrence said.
She added there has been no or limited training of field workers and no provision of require logistics. The materials to conduct the voters roll update she said are not substandard and there is no credible mechanism for verification.
“Just in Grand Bassa County, almost 50 percent of the register voters are being registered as new voters. There is no way to verify the old voters’ registration cards so they have two voters’ cards,” LP political leaders said.
Also speaking, the political leader of the All Liberians Party (ALP) Mr. Benoni Urey called on Liberians both home and abroad to rally around the CPP, adding that their rights giving by the Constitution is about to be taken from them (CPP).
“It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us not only here but outside, to fight for those rights. Or if we don’t and it’s taken away, there is no need for us to be Liberians,” Mr. Urey said.