By Hannah N. Geterminah and Robin Dopoe
Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, the standard bearer of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) is demanding that the chairman and fellow commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) recuse themselves from presiding over his party’s claim of irregularities and fraud against the electoral body.
The NEC is expected to hear the case in line with the mandate of the Supreme Court, beginning today, Nov. 7.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference held at the LP headquarters in Congo Town, Cllr. Brumskine added that his party does not feel comfortable about the NEC Commissioners presiding over the case because the commissioners have already rendered a judgment.
“We will ask the NEC officials to recuse themselves from the case and, if they refuse, we will go back to court and file an appeal for the Supreme Court to mandate that they must be removed. We don’t independently trust the judgment from the NEC Commissioners concerning our complaint, once that they have pre-judged the case,” Cllr. Brumskine noted.
He said the law gives him the right to ask the NEC commissioners presiding over the case to recuse themselves from hearing the case.
Brumskine further said he does not expect free and fair hearing from the NEC commissioners; therefore the party is calling on them to recuse themselves from hearing the case to allow what he described as a transparent process.
“But my commitment to the people of Liberia is that there will be no violence, as we strive to change our country for the better and remains unshaken. Our effort is about the hundreds of thousands of Liberians, who were denied the right to vote; it is about the unknown number of persons who voted more than once, because they had voter registration cards issued by Amose Siebo and others who were given voter registration cards producing materials by the NEC,” he alleged.
He stated “It is about that lady who had to pay L$150 to an NEC official in order to have her name written in a notebook, as a pre-condition to voting. It is about every Liberian who stood in lines for hours to vote for a particular candidate, only to realize thereafter that their votes were not included in the count.
“But it is also about those employees of the NEC who have been made to believe that, to secure their jobs they had to be a part of the conspiracy to defraud the people of Liberia; and, it is about all Liberians who have been told that the only way to succeed in our country is to break the law or commit offenses against humanity.”
Brumskine stressed that the course they are pursuing is not about him, neither about the Liberty Party; but it is about the country, which includes every Liberian, even those who are opposing his party’s decision.
The LP leader also added that most Liberians are apprehensive because the change in the country has become synonymous with suffering, destruction and death, leaving the average Liberian worse off before the purported change started.
“All of us must, however, be aware of the wolves in sheep clothing and that they crucified us for doing what is right, and glorified those who would destroy our country,” he said. “And that they advocate that we do nothing about it, risking the demise of any hope of developing liberal democracy in our country, dooming Liberians, even those that are yet unborn, to a state of helplessness. Today’s opinion of the Supreme Court is not the end, it is only the beginning. Evil, which has taken us down this road in the first place, is going to strike back with venom.”
Meanwhile, Cllr. Brumskine acknowledged the collaborative effort of other political parties -All Liberia Party (ALP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), and the Unity Party (UP) in their political and legal endeavor to save the country.