Protesters Demand Korkoya’s Resignation

10
1883
The protesters displayed their placards and chanted slogans demanding Korkoya's resignation.

National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Jerome Korkoya’s recent pronouncement setting December 26 as the date for the runoff election without having first cleaned up the Final Registration Roll (FRR) has provoked strong reactions from the public with calls from several quarters for his resignation or immediate dismissal.

It can be recalled that following the October 10 elections, its results were challenged by the Liberty Party(LP), Unity Party(UP) and the All Liberian Party(ALP) who prayed the Supreme Court to annul the elections results. They contended that the elections were characterized by fraud and gross irregularities which, in their opinion, constituted sufficient grounds for the annulment of the results.

But the Supreme Court differed with the position taken by the protesting parties, arguing that while it is true there were instances of fraud and irregularities, they were not of the scope and magnitude that would have necessitated the annulment of the results. And rather than ordering a rerun of the exercise as prayed for by the parties, the Supreme Court instead opted for a runoff and ordered the NEC to proceed with it based on the attainment of certain benchmarks, principal among which was the cleanup of the FRR.

However, barely a week following the Supreme Court’s decision, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya announced a runoff date (December 26) without satisfying the public as well as the runoff contestants that the FRR had been cleaned as mandated by the Supreme Court in its ruling. This sudden decision taken by Chairman Korkoya has, however, not gone down well with the UP, who sources say is considering filing a Bill of Information to the Supreme Court alerting it to what the party says is Korkoya’s flagrant disregard of its mandate.

And as it appears, members of the public have become seized of the matter and have gone a step further by mounting public protests before the NEC headquarters demanding the dismissal or immediate resignation of Chairman Korkoya. Yesterday, a group of protesters led by businessman George Kailondo expressing disenchantment with Korkoya’s actions blocked the main entrance of the Commission’s headquarters calling on him to step down as chairman of the NEC.

Holding aloft placards with inscriptions such as “Korkoya must resign from NEC,” “Korkoya you cannot chair NEC,” “Liberians love peace! Korkoya must go!!” and “Korkoya your time is over,” among several other slogans, the group approached the NEC building on 10th Street and blocked its entrance. A statement demanding Korkoya’s resignation was read by social activist John Pangbe, who cited Korkoya’s lack of independence and his unwillingness to abide by the recommendations of the Supreme Court, among others.

He condemned Chairman Korkoya’s refusal to strictly abide by the Supreme Court’s mandate as indicated by his unilateral announcement of the date for the runoff without the inputs of the Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), the two political parties qualified to go into the runoff.

It may be recalled that on Tuesday, December 12, the NEC Chairman, Jerome  Korkoya, announced the date for the runoff election and signaled the go-ahead for the UP and CDC to begin campaigning as of the date of the announcement to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 24.

The NEC Chairman revealed that a technical team from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is due to arrive in the country (hopefully the same day he was announcing the runoff date) to help the Commission deal with the Final Registration Roll (FRR) before the runoff day.

Cllr. Korkoya, responding to a Daily Observer article on Monday, Nov. 11, titled: ‘NEC Unwilling to Comply with Supreme Court’s Mandate?’ said he had no reason not to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision to, among other things, clean up the FRR.

Yesterday’s group, led by Kailondo, with the support of Arkie Moore, All Liberian Party’s youth chairman and Telia Urey, one of Benoni Urey’s daughters, promised to return to the NEC headquarters today to continue to demand Chairman Korkoya’s resignation.

Authors

10 COMMENTS

  1. Liberians remind me of the true fallen nature of humans. I have been following the drama. As early as last week, some Liberians were complaining that NEC was trying to delay the pending run-off election. Now that a new date is set, people are complaining and demonstrating. The big boys of the legislators are complaining that they were not consulted. I am sure if the legislators were consulted, the entire process would be dragged for who knows how long… I for one am glad that a new date is set. The two parties better get to work and campaign if they want a better outcome, as I do expect the supreme court to back the NEC here and not those who will be asking for bribes to delay a due process. If the supreme court wanted the legislators to set a new date, they would have given the legislator the power to do so. These people need to stay in their lane and understand their role as prescribed by the Liberian constitution.

  2. A Concerned Liberian,the people are demonstrating because NEC failed to implement the Supreme Court’s instructions regarding the Final Registration Roll (FRR).

  3. The politicians are moving the GOAL POST, every now and then…….while the game is on going. It is amazing how our politicians are lost in their quest to get state power. From re-run to protesting NEC decision on run off date. They have gotten used to the mind set of sending innocent Liberians in the street to protest their interest. This other GOAL POST is moved way out of the PERIMETER of the playing field. The umpire/referee, should please put in place rules to guard any would-be hooligans…..Liberians are tired.

  4. Bah,
    Your above comment is unarguably the best I have seen. I speculate that your conversion to a centrist position has made it possible. I commef you wholeheartedly! The best you can do (Bah, I am counting on your influence) is to inform your friends and relatives that a Boakai led government will improve the quality of lives in Liberia.
    Finally Bah, whenever you leave Australia for the US, call me. You will be treated fairly. I will keep the kangaroo as well as the duck-billed platypus away from our space.
    Go Boakai!

  5. What is hard to understand about abiding by the simple rule of cleaning up the voter rolls? With about 2 million voters, what big a deal is to identify duplicate voters?
    Another thing, what’s also hard to get the parties involved in setting a new date for the run-off? These are very rudimentary management skills for anyone who supposed run an election commission.

  6. Miss Fatu Dunah, I couldn’t agree with you more. Problems of all kinds pop up in Liberia every day. Corruption is rampant in the three branches of government. Don’t ask me! Just read the USAID report that heaped scorn on the Liberian government a few days ago. Then, there is the case of bribery. It’s been said that well-connected individuals who masquerade as upper class people were caught in the net. When I spoke to a friend the other day, she told me that the bribery case isn’t going anywhere.

    The Liberian public schools………..
    A gentleman who visited Liberia recently painted a gloomy picture of the Liberian public schools. According to him, students do not have their full set of textbooks nor do teachers have a full set of teacher edition textbooks. In some cases, class size is an issue and also, students as well as teachers do have good toilets at their schools. The truth of the matter is that before he left office as president of the US, Mr. Obama donated almost 20 million US bucks (not Liberian dollars) to help improve schools and other areas that could be improved in the country.
    The question is this?
    Has that donated money arrived? How was the money spent?

    Now the NEC………
    In America, there’s a saying that goes like this: “if there’s a thing that quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, eats like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s got to be a duck”. Seeing this, I came up with this:
    “If a man at the NEC acts like a contrarian, talks like a contrarian, defends his office as a contrarian and conducts business as a contrarian, he’s got to be a contrarian. That man is none other than Korkoya.

    Early on, I was a staunch advocate of Mr. Korkoya when he was accused of being a US citizen who should not handle the affairs of the Liberian government. I condemned such a move as petty politics because a good number of Liberian-Americans (not Americo-Liberians) work in the present government. But, in recent weeks, Korkoya has become an albatross on the Liberian political landscape. The gentleman’s stance of inconsistency has earned him the title of a contrarian.

    Just a few examples.
    Prior to the October 10 elections, Korkoya initiated a contact with Ghanaian computer experts to help him at NEC. There was no contact made with Liberian computer experts to help him do the same job that the Ghanaian computer experts would do. Had they come, the Ghanaians weren’t going to do a free job. They would be paid. If they were paid, the Ghanaians would spend their money in Ghana, and not in Liberia. Think economic boosterism!

    Originally, Korkoya stated that there weren’t any problems with registration rolls. But in recent days, Korkoya admits that ECOWAS will help in terms of doing a cleaning job. Now, ECOWAS is warning the Liberian people (as if the Liberian people are kids) that trouble should not come again. ECOWAS is fed up.They have a good reason to be.

    Finally, two weeks of preparation for a runoff is unconscionable, especially since the runoff itself happens to be on the 26th of December. That means that there are two main events that the Liberian people must go through….Christmas and a runoff election.
    The Liberian people will not properly digest their food from the festivities of Christmas. The cops may not be able to vote because there’s a potential for trouble. The army may be put on high alert because the gawkers could mess things up. Foreign observers will be present, but who knows what could happen? Maybe Korkoya has another plan.

  7. Please leave NEC alone, it is the opposition that should be out protesting. I recall that UP led government nominated the Chairman and was confirmed by the Honorable Liberian Senate. Later, Cllr. Gongloe and Dr. Tipoteh filed papers in court contesting the Chairman’s status which was dismissed. The issue of resignation is moot, let us, therefore, respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Liberia and move the run-off process.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here