Liberia: Joseph Boakai Expresses Lack of Confidence in National Elections Commission


Paynesville The standard-bearer of the opposition Unity Party, Amb. Joseph Boakai, says the National Elections Commission in its current composition contains partisans, incompetent and unpatriotic Board Members, for which he says he has no confidence in the Commission.

On Monday, June 6, Amb. Boakai, in a news conference held at his residence in Paynesville, expressed lack of confidence in the current structure of the country’s electoral body and emphasized the need that he does not believe that the Commission in its current composition is fit to handle the 2023 presidential and general elections.

In a very harsh tone, Boakai expressed fear that the country’s electoral process might be in jeopardy if those he considered political actors occupying key positions are the NEC are not changed.

“To be very frank with you, I have no confidence in the National Election Commission as it is now, I can’t shy away from that because there’s a lot of political actors…, a lot of incompetence, and there are people that are unpatriotic and we don’t believe that they can lead us – they can’t lead us into 2023 elections,” Amb. Boakai said.

He said those heading the country’s electoral body are “unpatriotic” and he does not have a belief that they can drive the 2023 electoral process independently.

Amb. Boakai pointed out that the Mandate of the NEC does not allow it to work for any political party or government, but only in the interest of the Liberian people.

Boakai’s Unity Party which has been in a legal battle with the Liberty Party and subsequently the NEC over the constitutionality of his party to feed a candidate in the pending Lofa County by-elections and 2023 Presidential elections for the first time, since his legal crusade praises the Supreme Court’s decision.

“We are law-abiding citizens and except that the Supreme Court will make laws in harmony with the Constitution of Liberia,” he averred.

He stated that the highest court of our land made the right decision in upholding the Constitution and Rule of Law when it decided to nullify the NEC obstruction to registering the UP candidate in the rescheduled Lofa County bi-election, after former defense minister Brownie Samukai, who was elected in the December 2020 bi-elections, was prevented from taking his seat as Senator-elect of Lofa County because of a criminal case filed against him.

Amb. Boakai then commended the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court for this precedent-setting decision, which he said was a signal to the NEC “to do the right thing at all time.”

In this light, Amb. Boakai also warned the NEC that it is incumbent upon the Commissioners to do the right thing because the UP will be prepared to challenge any wrong decision made against “the opposition and, by extension, the interests of the voters.”

The UP Standard Bearer then strongly noted that maintaining the “hard-won peace in Liberia depends on the unfettered practice of legitimate politics, which include Free and Fair Elections.”

At the same time, Boakai reminded the NEC about updating the Voter’s Roll and the urgent need to use the Biometric Voting System in the 2023 elections, which were recommended by International Election Observers in 2007, including ECOWAS, emphasizing that the 2023 General and Presidential Elections must be conducted through a “transparent process because the Unity Party and its affiliate political parties and the people of Liberia will accept NOTHING LESS.”

He, however, refused to make particular emphasis on the Liberty Party case, still lagging at the Supreme Court, but noted that those who are his partners are working along with him.

Meanwhile Amb. Boakai has maintained that those he believes in at the opposition blocks, with similar interest, have already crafted what many beloved to be a new collaboration, which he said is being strengthened to unseat President George Weah.