– 7 yet to be cleared
Those who emerged victorious at the October 10 presidential and representative elections as well as the subsequent December 26 runoff election are on the verge of gaining legitimacy as authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) will be certificating them today.
President-elect George Weah and his chief lieutenant, Jewel Howard Taylor, who are poised to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai in what could be described a ‘historic transition,’ will grace the occasion at the headquarters of the NEC in Sinkor to see the electoral body confer upon the elected officials their legitimate statuses.
Along with the President-elect and his deputy will be 66 others who emerged victorious in the representative race.
This disclosure was made to journalists at the James Fromayan Conference Hall at the Commission’s headquarters near Monrovia by Henry Flomo, the entity’s director of communications.
Flomo said the fate of seven other newly elected representatives is hanging on the balance until complaints filed against their election pending before the NEC Board of Commissioners and before the Supreme Court are adjudicated.
“The remaining seven representatives-elect will not be certificated as a result of legal challenges they are currently undergoing at NEC and at the Supreme Court,” Flomo told reporters.
Accordingly, the certification ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. Therefore, Flomo has called on all media practitioners covering the occasion to be there in time as the protocol for the event will not compromise anything to ensure there is order and liveliness.
“We are kindly asking our local media practitioners to respect time and be present before the ceremony commences. It is historic and it will mean well for all if the right, simple and important procedures are adhered to,” Flomo declared.
The occasion is expected to bring together guests, including international, regional, continental and local partners.
Today’s exercise is in line with the law that says the Commission should authenticate the legitimacy of one’s victory in the just ended election by certification.
Flomo added: “None of the elected officials is yet qualified to serve in the capacity he or she has been elected to unless NEC certificates that person. It is by law that the Commission authenticates the legitimacy of one’s victory in an election by certification. The certificate will not only be good for today, but for the future as well. One may share with their children the document reflecting his or her success at the hotly contested polls.”
Weah, a global football icon, contested for Liberia’s presidency in 2005 and won the first round of the election, but as provided for by law, he did not amass the required 50 percent plus one vote. He therefore had to face Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a runoff, which he lost.
President Sirleaf, having promised to lead the country for a single term of six years, resurfaced with a new demand calling on Liberian voters to give another term so as to complete projects she initiated. That second postwar election, which took place in 2011, saw George Weah as a running mate to Cllr. Winston Tubman on the ticket of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).
Weah’s CDC again won the first round, but chose to boycott the runoff on grounds that there were frauds orchestrated by the ruling Unity Party (UP) of President Sirleaf. He did not give up though, as his supporters overwhelmingly voted him as Montserrado Senator at a specially organized mid-term senatorial election in 2014, which he used as a waiting station to his 12-year old dream destination of being the President of Liberia.