NEC Elections Complaints Hearings Scheduled For Today

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NEC headquarters in Monrovia

As District 15 residents pledge support to Urey

As hearings into complaints of irregularities filed by opposition candidates in the District 15 by-elections scheduled to be held today at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) appear set, residents of District 15 have pledged their unflinching support for Ms. Telia Urey in her challenge of the District by-elections results.

It can be recalled that the leading contender in District 15, Telia Urey, filed a complaint against what she said were irregularities that occurred at three polling sites in the District 15 elections. In one instance she complained that her representative at one of the polling sites was arrested on trumped-up charges and dragged away from the site, a development which, according to her, enabled fraudulent ballot stuffing.

In another instance, according to sources close to the leading candidate in District# 15, she reported what she called the illegal use of the “Addendum Roll” declared illegal by the Supreme Court in 2017. According to insider NEC sources, ballots boxes from those polling sites were ordered quarantined upon receipt of complaints of irregularities until the complaints had been looked into.

Surprisingly, however, according to sources, the manager of the NEC data center, Floyd Sayon had surreptitiously included the quarantined ballots in the vote count, a development which placed the CDC candidate Abu Kamara in the lead.

Later, however, according to sources following a tense meeting at the NEC, Floyd Sayon, when ordered by oversight Commissioner of the NEC Data Center, Commissioner Sam Joe, to remove the quarantined ballots from the vote count, he flatly refused. In further gross disobedience to Commissioner Sam Joe, Floyd is said to have maintained his stance arguing that removal of the quarantined vote from the results would tilt the balance in favor of opposition candidate Telia Urey who, until the first NEC announcement of results, had been leading in the polls.

The matter was however resolved, according to sources, but not without threats by some Commissioners to resign and make full public disclosure of reasons for their resignation. Sources also disclosed that CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu and a Grand Kru Representative paid impromptu visits to the NEC headquarters in hopes of swaying Commissioners into fixing the results as a face-saving measure for President Weah who had, days prior to the by-elections, told hundreds of his cheering supporters that the Ureys would never win any elections in Liberia as long as he was President.

The opposition victories in the just concluded by-elections, according to CDC insider sources (names withheld), have not only riled the CDC top hierarchy but is also producing strains to the point where open squabbles are said to have erupted between CDC Youth League Chairman Jefferson Koijee and Chairman proper, Mulbah Morlu with Koijee succeeding in having his men (City Police) forcibly expel Morlu from the CDC compound, according to insider CDC sources.

Meanwhile several calls including a text message sent to NEC information officer, Prince Dunbar, seeking information on who appears for hearings today went unanswered. But NEC sources say, aside from complaints filed by Ms. Urey, other opposition contenders had also filed complaints of irregularities, which may also be heard during today’s proceedings.

The Montserrado County District 15 leading contender Telia Urey, it can be recalled, had earlier told the Daily Observer that she would only accept a re-run of the elections and not a recount which, according to her, would include the stuffed ballots and those from the illegal “Addendum Rolls”.

In a related development, residents of District 15 have pledged their unflinching support for Ms. Urey’s candidacy, even if it requires several re-runs of the elections, according to Matenneh Kamara, a local market woman from the Logan Town market.

According to Kamara, although she has not benefitted directly from business assistance that Ms. Urey has been providing to local market women, she believes Urey is sincere and does not look greedy, noting that, “this girl will make Adolph Lawrence sleep fine in his grave.”

Meanwhile, Montserrado County Senator-elect, Darius Dillon has called on the Ministers of Finance and Education to work in concert to address the plight of stranded Liberian students in Morocco who had been publicly protesting before the Liberian Embassy in Rabat, the country’s capital.

Mr. Dillon said one of his first acts as Senator, when inducted, will be to further engage both Ministers on this matter. Mr. Dillon’s comments come in the wake of public concerns about the large sums of money being spent by the GoL through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to facilitate the transport of Muslim pilgrims to the annual Hajj Pilgrimage to the Islamic Holy City of Mecca. But sources close to the office of Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, said the money was provided by a donor from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

1 COMMENT

  1. Washington (Globe Afrique) – Liberia is slowly inching towards state-sponsored terrorism and violence against its citizens. Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), stated, ‘when passions run high during elections, and people do not act with restraint, this may lead to large-scale crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In such a case, the office of the prosecutor will not hesitate to act under the criteria defined by the Rome Statute.

    She went on to say, “Political leaders are equally obliged to ensure that the electoral process and elections proceed calmly and that they, their supporters and sympathizers, refrain from any violence before, during and after elections.”

    President Weah
    Liberia is a party to the Rome Statute. And, Article 15 of the Rome Statute allows ICC Prosecutors to investigate allegations of crimes based on information from victims, nongovernmental organizations or any other reliable source.  Moreover, the ex officio provisions of the Statute give victims and survivors a role in the ICC process by enabling them to trigger investigations.

    Over the years, the ICC has conducted investigations and prosecutions of crime against humanity, war crimes and aggression in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Burundi. Madam Bensouda added, “Anyone who incites or participates in mass violence, by ordering, soliciting, encouraging or otherwise contributing to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is liable to prosecution before the Court.” And no one should doubt the determination to investigate such crimes.

    Statements by Koijee Are Deemed State-Sponsored Atrocities and Terrorism
    Recent activities and statements made by leaders of the ruling party, particularly, the mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, where he stated, “Make no mistake to think that because we bear certain titles or bear certain space in government, that po

    sition has taken from us our true identity.”

    The mayor went on to say, “…any day that would be announced by anyone (referring to protestors), we want to say to you that similar day would be announced by us. And wheresoever they are, we would also be there, and we would meet in flesh and blood.” It’s quite apparent that the young and inexperienced mayor fails to realize that his statements are treated as state-sponsored or supported atrocities.

    If one were to couple the mayor’s statements with recent acts of violence, this would lead to a decision by the ICC to open an investigation into violence in Liberia because it falls within the category of crimes against humanity which will lead to future prosecutions of state-supported atrocities. Failure by the President of Liberia to forcefully and publicly reject and sanction the mayor may be deemed as silent support of Koijee.

    Proposed Ban on Jefferson Koijee from Entering the United States
    On another note, Liberians in the United States are gearing up to petition the U.S. State Department to prohibit Jefferson Koijee and other political party members of the ruling party from entering the U.S. for fear that they are sponsoring domestic terrorism in Liberia.

    According to 8 U.S. Code Subchapter 2, Subsection 1182 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, any person, including government officials who endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity are inadmissible to the United States.

    “Terrorist activity” is defined as any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) including a violent attack upon the liberty of a person.

    According to an official at the U.S. Justice Department, who wishes to remain anonymous, the United States government and members of the United States Committee on Foreign Relations are
    c
    losely following events unfolding in Liberia. Globe Afrique will continue to monitor these events as they unfold.

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    Mitch Rodinski
    Mitch is a political journalist who is passionate about understanding governments in Latin America and Africa. Mitch holds a graduate degree in journalism from Cornell University. Mitch covers LATAM for Globe Afrique and will continue to focus on developments in fragile countries.

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