The standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Benedict Cummings, is contemplating possible legal action against the National Elections Commission (NEC) as his team of legal and fraud experts are putting together every piece of information and evidence that would culminate into a sensible case against the electoral body.
The ANC’s lawsuit would come in the wake of reported or possible fraud into the October 10 presidential and legislative elections; and by that, would be seeking redress against the NEC’s many irregularities that greeted the voting process, such as stolen ballot boxes, mix-matched tally sheets, to centers moved with no notice to voters and the intimidation of poll watchers, among others.
“While I am thankful for a peaceful process and the impressive turn-out of voters, I am very concerned about the integrity and subsequent validity of the recent election outcomes,” Cummings said at a press conference in Monrovia yesterday. “I am also disturbed by the reported thousands of Liberians that were denied their constitutional right to vote due to inefficiencies and negligence in the administration of the process,” he said.
“From stolen ballot boxes, to mix-matched tally sheets, to centers moved with no notice to voters, to the intimidation of poll watchers, and an unprecedented number of both invalid votes and turned-away voters, it is clear that our election process lacked the capacity, preparedness and consistent application of the rules to ensure that the votes of the Liberian people were protected with a guarantee of results that’s the true will of the Liberian people,” he noted.
At the press conference held in the presence of some international observers from the EU EOM and NDI, Cummings said that the ANC will only accept a result that is free fair and transparent in a process where every eligible voter had the opportunity to exercise his/her constitutional right.
“I want to state emphatically that we, the ANC, would accept the outcome of the election as the will of the Liberian people if it was free, fair and completely conducted,” he said.
Cummings assured his supporters and every Liberian whose rights may have been violated on elections day that he will not stop until due process is served. “I want to let you know that I am even more determined and passionate about helping change the process and this broken system. After 170 years, Liberia deserves better!”
He asked his many partisans to continue to remain calm during such “a very difficult period in our democracy. We must remain steadfast in the preservation of peace and stability of our great nation,” he said.
“During my campaign,” Cummings said at the conference, “I outlined many reasons why we are where we are as a country, consistently noting that if we keep doing the same things, we will not get different results. Today I find that to be truer than ever.”
“The acceptance of an incompetent, inefficient and rigged electoral process is an illustration of that expression.
“By accepting current election results without challenging them amid the numerous and wide spread improprieties, we the Liberian people would again be accepting the same behaviors and tolerating the same injustices,” he said.
“As Liberians, we will never fully be empowered to exercise our constitutional rights- and Liberia will never change-if we tolerate mediocrity and corruption in any fact of the electoral process. We cannot do the same things and expect different results.
“So, after much consultation and initial review of substantive evidence, I find it as my duty and responsibility as a Liberian that is dedicated to creating change and reform, to explore challenging the purported outcome of the recent election.
“As such, the ANC has engaged expert assistance to conduct a detailed review of the party’s findings with a view to verify and pursue every available avenue, legal and otherwise, to a fair, transparent and valid election result.”
With the registration of his intention to take legal action against the NEC, the ANC political leader would be joining his colleague from the Liberty Party, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, who has also registered his intention to take legal action against the NEC.
After all, these were the same two men who challenged the NEC at the Supreme Court after their respective running mates were barred from contesting the elections all because the NEC held them in violation of contents of the controversial Code of Conduct. The High Court vindicated them.
Brumskine is demanding that the election be rerun, claiming that massive fraud and irregularities are to blame for preliminary results indicating that the LP performed poorly.
He said that the elections were faced with “serious gross irregularities and fraud that undercut the integrity of the process as well as denying voters their constitutional rights to vote.”
He added: “The preliminary results released by authorities of the National Elections Commissions (NEC) are not valid, because we at the LP have evidence to prove our case.”
The LP’s evidences, the political leader said, range from the stuffing of ballot boxes with marked ballot papers for a rival party in Nimba County by a NEC presiding officer; the late opening of polls at some centers; and the omission of names and photographs from the voter roll.
The standard bearer of the All Liberian Party, Benoni Urey, has also voiced out similar discontent.
Meanwhile, to his many supporters, some of whom graced the press conference yesterday, Cummings said, “I want to sincerely thank all of our dedicated supporters and to every Liberian that participated in our recent hallmark presidential elections. Your passion, energy and love for our county inspires me and strengthens our resolve as a party to continue to fight for the Liberia we all deserve.
“Many of you took the time to wake up early and exercise your civic duty. Whatever your reasons were, and whoever your choice was, you were involved in the democratic process of our nation. For that I am grateful. That single act of exercising your right to vote demonstrates your commitment to Liberia and participation in its future,” he said.