Liberia: Ruling Party Rejects Elections Commission’s Call for a Re-run in District 15; Finds Scapegoats for Defeat in By-elections
MONROVIA – Few minutes following the announcement of a re-run of the Montserrado County District 15 by-election within 10 days by the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) Chief Hearing Officer, Mr. Mouna Ville, the Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mr. Mulbah Morlu announced that the Party will not accept the ruling “lying down.”
Addressing journalists at his party headquarters in Congotown Wednesday, August 14, the CDC Chairman claimed that he has copy of a NEC press release in which five candidates in the just-ended Montserrado Senatorial by-election filed complaints against Senator-elect Abraham Darius Dillon and the Elections Commission failed to hear those complaints but choose to take interests only in a complaints filed by Telia Urey.
The controversial ruling party Chairman did not make public the press release he claimed to have from the NEC.
“We have the facts and statistics it is not possible to reverse facts. We have evidences to support this argument. There are elements within the National Elections Commission, who are compromised and I will prove it. I have in my possession a press statement written by NEC that reveals that complaints were filed against opposition candidate Darius Dillon. That was before results were announced.
“The NEC did not investigate complaints against Dillon by the five candidates and I have the documents in my possession. NEC did not investigate but proceeded to announce results. One person filed complaint against our candidate and they took interest in such complaints.
“When it comes to the CDC candidate, one person filed complaint and they say they will announce a re-run. We will not accept this for the record. Let the news go forth; we will not accept this. Thank God the true color of the devil has manifested itself this early.”
Speaking further, the CDC chairman said, “Imagine if this was 2023! There are element provocateurs, who are still in the bailiwick of government working against the Pro-poor Agenda of His Excellency George Weah. It is clear they want to disrupt the democratic process; we will not accept this. Never have we seen an election process that will cancel the results of 20 polling places. While we remain peaceful, we will not allow our rights to be trampled upon.”
CDCians Won’t Continue to Be Spectators in Their Own Government
Chairman Morlu thanked his party’s supporters, who had turned out to vote in the July 29th Montserrado County by-election. He encouraged people who did not vote because of some disappointment in their party-led government that the regime is doing all to correct those missteps.
According to him, the “tragedy” requires immediate action as they have begun the fight to weed out “sleepy cells” in ministries & agencies actively working against the President’s agenda.
“Of course, we acknowledge that not every opposition member needs to be replaced. Since, there are few others that are supportive in service, continuing to be productive though they may not be members of our party.
“However, we have proofs that some of our most serious problems as a new government are traceable to the over 60 percent so-called ‘technocrats’ and senior officials of the Ellen regime, dead-weights and counter-revolutionary forces we left in charge when the President got elected by popular mandate.”
Morlu believes the CDC administration’s chances of implementing the President’s ‘Pro poor’ development agenda remains bleak as long as these “sleepy cells” and “dead-weights’ are not thrown overboard.
He issued a disclaimer that the his statement about “sleepy cells” in government was not about civil servants, claiming that civil servants deserve the right to have a job, irrespective of their political identities.
“Other than these, some of those who make policies or are policy implementers cannot be left to manage policies they don’t believe in.
“These so-called ‘technocrats’ and senior officials of the Sirleaf era don’t have special skills that our partisans lack. They’re neither educated than our people, nor are they more experienced. To the contrary, they’re the holes on the ship with small, small leakages they’re creating at night while smiling with you during the day to mislead and distract.
“They created this messy economy we inherited; they’re deepening the mess daily to keep making our President looks bad. This act of voodoo governance and political witchcraft must be stopped. Notwithstanding, despite the indisputable facts that we inherited a damaged economy, we are nonetheless committed to fixing it to make life better for our people.”
President Weah Must Re-evaluate
Morlu told President Weah that his Cabinet makeup was “unacceptable” and called on him to re-evaluate his appointment strategies by granting CDCians more employment opportunities; adding: “No one can protect his vision for change like CDCians.”
“And the problem is not just restricted to Unity Party people in government, but some of our own officials are also not helping the President.
“How did it come to this that in certain agencies of government, our people are treated as though they’re still in opposition? The other day I visited one ministry and learnt that CDCians are being targeted and subdued in the workplace, and they cannot fully express themselves in regards to their membership to the CDC.
“While we call on government to give our people employment, educational and other opportunities, appointed officials of government who do not support the President’s agenda should vacate government and make way for the hundreds of qualified Liberians, trained, educated and well experienced to work for change.”
NEC Hearing Officer Ruling
The National Elections Commission Wednesday announced a re-run of the Montserrado County’s District #15 by-election in areas affected by some polling irregularities “within 10 days.”
Following the casting of ballots on Monday, July 29 in the Montserrado County by-election, including District #15, Ms. Telia Urey, the candidate on the ticket of the four opposition collaborating parties— All Liberian Party, Alternative National Congress, Liberty Party and Unity Party— filed an official complaint with NEC.
Ms. Urey, who at the moment narrowly leads the official results from the Elections Commission, 5,573 votes, 42.68 percent to Kamara’s 5,417 votes, 41.48 percent, had complaints about some irregularities on the part of some of NEC officials assigned at the 94 polling centers in Montserrado District #15 to conduct the election. However, 20 of the polling places had been quarantined by the Commission and a re-run has been announced in those affected places. Meanwhile, CDC lead lawyer has announced an appeal with the NEC Board of Commissioners and they have two days to effect this appeal.