No Runoff Date without UP, CDC Inputs

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Former National Elections Commission (NEC) Director of Civic Education, Josiah F. Joekai, now serving as a member of the Boakai for President campaign team

Former National Elections Commission (NEC) Director of Civic Education, Josiah F. Joekai, now serving as a member of the Boakai for President campaign team, has declared that the NEC cannot announce the runoff elections date without the inputs of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) and the Unity Party(UP) both of which are contestants in the impending runoff elections.

In an interview with the Daily Observer on Monday, Joekai declared that in the absence of a mutually agreed consensus between NEC, UP and CDC on the modalities to be used during the runoff, NEC cannot, on its own authority make a unilateral decision to hold the runoff election. “I want to be on record for this, that the NEC will not, and cannot announce elections date without  addressing the issue, in fact we also have to look at the issue of the current ballot papers as to whether they are not used, or they are ready to be used.”

His declaration comes in the wake of a special session convened over the weekend by NEC Chairman Korkoya to discuss modalities expected to be put in place to guide the conduct of the runoff elections. According to Mr. Joekai, the purpose of the session, as spelt out in Chairman Korkoya’s communication to both parties, was to start the engagement process of the implementation of the Supreme Court’s mandate..

But alarmingly according to Mr. Joekai,  Chairman Korkoya came to the meeting without a prepared agenda and when he was pressed by the UP and the CDC to produce one, Chairman Korkoya  arrogantly insisted that his was a single-item agenda so he elected to present it orally. Mr. Joekai further disclosed that the meeting was conducted in an atmosphere which he described as tense, hostile and which prompted both parties to call a recess in order to mutually consult.

On the way forward, he maintained that there needs to be a clear understanding amongst the parties on which of the Final Registration Roll(FRR) is to be cleaned. According to him this is a necessary first step because NEC has since made some modification to the FRR, electronic copies of which were given to political parties on September 23, 2017. According to him that Roll has been modified. “So firstly we do not even know the kind of FRR that is supposed to be used, so NEC and the two parties must know the type of roll that is to be cleaned,” he declared.

Continuing, Joekai stressed that in the interest of transparency, there is a need to have one representative from each party work along with NEC database technicians to do a comprehensive assessment and cleanup of the FRR to derive at one which will be acceptable to all. He said this was necessary because there were just too many instances with several individuals carrying the same Voter identification number.

I want NEC to admit to the discrepancy that exists from their end, I don’t think the party [any] longer has confidence in the NEC, so it becomes very difficult for the party to cooperate with the chairman, looking at the kind of posture, the lack of cooperation with the Unity Party as far as we are concerned.’’

Authors

9 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Josiah F Joekai I appreciate you concern for a free and fair runoff election but you already have a mindset about not trusting the NEC but do not forget that they are not alone in the process, I bet the other local and international partners who put time and resources into these elections have that credibility. So why start dictating how things must go when the Supreme Court has already mandated through the verdict they rendered recently. We all know that some irregularities happen in elections but to generalize it as been the entire country is what makes us wrong when we can not provide proves to substantiate it, since we are still developing technologically and infrastructurally at a nation a new democracy.
    The Ruling party if it was collectively working in the interest of the country and people and not deceptionally engage we would have had good roads network to get these election materials at the various centers in the country. But self-centeredness have robbed the country and the Liberian people out of these benefits or services. Do not forget or exempt yourself from these failures and problems because you were part of these decisions as members and senior officials of the ruling party and government. Your present Standard Bearer is a sitting Vice President and the President of the Senate, if he meant to see it done well it would have happened but hypocrisy is our biggest enemy as a nation. Stop the noise be a participant and not a referee or match commissioner, I love your concern but let Liberia move on as decreed by God, let no man stand in its way-they will be strike.

    • Mr Momo, I must commend you for reminding Mr Josiah Joekai that, as Vice President of Liberia and Senate President for the past 12 years, his candidate (Mr Joseph Boikai) should have cleaned up and better organized the NEC to enable it conduct the October 10 election fairly and efficiently… It is just too late today to do all that should have been done yesterday. And there’s now a dangerous constitutional crisis looming: we must stop the madness and get on with the Runoff.

  2. Mr. Joekai is reasonable in his accessessment. If there is a problem with election system and the Supreme court instructed NEC to fix the problem, NEC should inform the parties involve how they will fix the problem.
    Is that any way an unreasonable question to ask?
    Here are two problems that need to be addressed:
    1. Are there duplicate names (records) in the FRR, if there are, clean it up.
    2. Are the ballot papers legitimate, if not, replace it and go ahead with the run-off of the election.
    The election commission needs to address those very simple, but completed question before election is conducted.

    • I meant to say:
      The election commission needs to address those very simple, but complicated questions before election is conducted.

  3. Mr. Joekai, UP supporter or not, didn’t say that the short window of opportunity available for rescheduling a run – off should be spent on reforming, or fixing, a century old (ala Guinnees Book of Record) broken electoral system. Instead, he is suggesting that “NEC and the two parties must know the type of [voters’] roll that is to be cleaned”. And nothing wrong with that; let’s give this conversation the seriousness it deserves: Neither one of UP and CDC must allow partisanship to blind to the pragmatism of ideas coming from the other.

    Not to mention that Liberians everywhere want the true will of the people as expressed by their votes, in ethically and credibly – conducted elections, to prevail in the final analysis.

    Mind you, in a divided country such as ours, only a popularly elected president may be able to unite the nation. Definitely, the Supreme Court didn’t decide on behalf of a run – off to please politicians or NEC, but mainly for the rights of our “people” as guaranteed in chapter 1, article 1 of the constitution. Thus to conduct a caricature of an election would not only be a betrayal of the people in whom sovereign power is entrusted, but also jeopardize the legitimacy of the next administration and its authority to govern.

    For heaven’s sake, halt the pulling and hauling so that after the run – off together Liberians can start the heavy – lifting of aiming towards higher heights. Thanks, Joekai, “Politics is the art of compromise”!

  4. In another development, some person or organization try to call the Supreme interpretation of the election law a “mandate”. No one or organization, not even a branch of the Liberian government has the power to mandate or compel the executive. It is only the Liberian nation, as a people, in a referendum or in a collective majority format, that possess the power to mandate the President of Liberia. In reverse, same applies to the Judicial and Legislative in equal balance. NEC notwithstanding is a minute portion of the executive branch of government. On the flip side, the executive military secures order from the commander in chief still not yet elected to be installed on inauguration day. At present this incumbent has few days without a majority(34%) to give orders to receive such mandate in case the Liberian people need to. Consequently, the 54% in silence has time only to a peaceful transition until the next President gets in. We await God’s time to hear the announcement of the next Liberian constitutional President. Inform the Liberian Republic. Do not answer this box.
    Gone to God’s time.

  5. Once upon a time in the mid 1980’s, a Liberian playwright, most likely Mr. Kekurah Kamara, amused TV audiences with the repartees between his cuckolded comic character Old Man Gonda and his much younger two – timing wife, Garmeh. One scene starts with a knock at the door: Kor, kor kor, and the two – timing rascally wife, with a boyfriend in his husband’s bedroom, alarmingly demands , “Who’s that”?

    So, with all due respect to free speech and the right to the baying of bookish blockheads, we ask “Who’s that”, and what’s the dude saying?

  6. Mr. Joekai, please file a formal complainant with NEC noting all the concerns expressed in your piece. Everyone says the rooster must be verified to demand the least. So, Mr. Joekai get thy chairman of the party to move forward with the filing timely.

  7. This man can not separate the duty and responsibilities of the National Elections Commission from his political party, even though, he served the NEC as the Director of Civic Education. That is so very sad. Now, we see why the political process is in serious trouble.

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