Monrovia – Ahead of this year’s presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, a damaged economy and lingering poverty is causing newly-registered voters to put up their voting cards to the highest bidder, leading to the arrest Friday of three individuals just 48 hours after the registration exercise commenced.
Report by Lennart Dodoo – [email protected]
Plain clothes officers of the Liberia National Police have arrested three persons in connection to the scheme which, according to investigators took place near the Susan Berry Registration Center in Congo Town.
One of the accused was arrested with as many as sixteen newly-registered voter cards to several individuals.
Those arrested include: Stephen Cooper 33, Raymond Bartee 20 and Christian Bartee 19. Al three were arrested in Congotown but it has not been established which political parties they are connected to.
Police spokesman Sam Collins told FrontPageAfrica that the trio are being investigated by the police and vowed to disclose the names of the masterminds as soon as investigation is over.
Section 10.2 (2) of the National Elections Commission guidelines relating to Offenses in Relation to Registration Cards states that Any person who does any of the following acts shall be guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine or sixty (60) days imprisonment or both: (a) Printing or distributing any registration card; (b) Altering any registration card; (c) Using or attempting to use at any election, a registration card issued to another voter.
While trucking of would be voters to register in other districts and counties has been banned by the NEC, some aspirants have adopted a new style: they take down names and give the would be voters money for transportation to go and register in other districts and counties for a fee.