ECOWAS: “FRR Must Be Cleaned within Confines of Supreme Court Ruling”

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ECOWAS Country Representative, Amb. Ajisomo said the regional body (ECOWAS) is poised to help in the process, of cleaning up the FRR

The Special Representative of the President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission to Liberia, Ambassador Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo, has disclosed that modalities are being worked out to ensure that the regional body is involved in the cleanup of the controversial Final Registration Roll (FRR), ahead of the expected runoff election. The Supreme Court did not fix a date for the runoff, but legal experts say that decision lies squarely within the purview of the NEC.

It can be recalled that the integrity of the FRR and its violability was called into question by the parties in their complaint to the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court did not concur with the political parties’ prayer to annul the entire results based on the alleged widespread fraud and irregularities, the Court nevertheless opined that the Final Registration Roll in its present form was problematic and therefore ordered NEC to cleanup the FRR as a necessary prerequisite to the holding of the runoff election.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS Ambassador Ajisomo said the regional body (ECOWAS) is poised to help in this process, adding that the regional body, the NEC, and other stakeholders are collaborating to ensure the speedy return of its team of experts to Liberia to assist the NEC with the cleanup of the FRR.

He spoke recently at an interactive forum with media practitioners in Monrovia where findings and recommendations of the leaked report were officially disclosed.

The outspoken diplomat said cleaning up the FRR needs to be accomplished within the confines of the Supreme Court ruling. He, however, dispelled rumors that the technical team met with the Supreme Court while here. “I can tell you for a fact that they didn’t meet with the Supreme Court. The team’s mandate was to engage with the NEC officials and not necessarily other national stakeholders,” he added.

Ambassador Ajisomo stressed that ECOWAS is of the opinion that there is a need for a return of the technical team in order to ensure transparency, openness, and fairness from the public’s perspective. “In as much as the NEC has identified the problems, they also have professed solutions to the problems. So we are working hard to ensure that the technical team comes back to finish the task they have started,” he said.

The four-man ECOWAS team of election and IT experts, headed by Kwadwa Afari-Gyan, former Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, were in the country recently to assess conditions that may have contributed to the disputed October 10 election results and make recommendations to address the problem.

The team was headed by Chidi Nwafor, an IT specialist, system integrator (SI) and electrical engineer with advanced certificate in data management. He was assisted by two IT technicians, including a data architect. The team was in the country at the behest of ECOWAS.

While in Monrovia the team met with NEC officials, including its Chairman Jerome G. Korkoya, Commissioners Samuel Joe and Boakai Dukuly, and Executive Director Lamin Lighe. It also met with the staff of the NEC data center, the warehouse, a team of election magistrates and the SMS consultant.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Well, this goodwill gesture by the ECOWAS representative must be a cry in the wilderness, because our NEC chairperson, Mr. Korkoya says there’s no need for such, as the FRR is clean and ready for the election. Mind you these are some of the very people we will be running to again and crying for refuge when the “sh-8” hits the fan. Must we always learn with fire on our backs?

  2. It is becoming abundantly clear that the NEC has got a lot of weaknesses within its ranks. The NEC’s decision-makers are to be blamed for this fiasco. There seems not to be a foresight! Its top brass are seized with a defensive behavior and because of that, things are quickly falling apart. The sad truth is that time is of the essence. It is an absolute must for the Final Registration Rolls (FRR) to be cleaned. If a good cleaning process does not occur immediately, a fair runoff cannot be held without a new set of problems. God knows enough is enough!

  3. Dear God, we must first confess that we are all flawed. We all make mistakes. In spite of our humanity and our flawed status, we ask for your intervention through this process of electing our next leader. Thanks you for the peaceful manner in which everyone have conducted themselves. If there be any praise, if there be any glory, it all belongs to you. May your holy angels hover over Mama Liberia. Please remind each of us that we are all Liberians -no matter our ethnic background, our accents, our economic status or the complexion of our skin. We also pray for a smooth transition. Thank you for hearing our prayer. Amen.

  4. We should now focus on our legislative branch where all the run-off candidates are being abstracted from. Make no mistake. this Liberian Legislative branch is not the same as the structure of the United States congress. The only similarity not borrowed is 2 separate houses as any similar form as other democratic nations of the world. Our future laws will need sifter as it was by chiefs and elders brought forward to translate traditional cultural laws accordingly to suit the Liberian heritage provided by founders. Liberian legislature is unique in its own style. The NEC appointed format will be adjusted or changed after the election. Do not panic. The Liberian actual count of Liberians new next President to transition is possible in perfect peace, under God. Don’t reply this box. Tell the Liberian people.
    I am in silence.

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