UP Accused of Deliberate Attempt to Subvert Democracy

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NEC Lawyer Musa Dean presenting at the hearing at NEC

Concerns over the historic transfer of power from Africa’s first elected female president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to her successor, may not be resolved soon if technicalities surrounding alleged October 10 frauds and irregularities reported by some political parties continue to overwhelm investigations.

What is obtaining is that the alleged October 10 irregularities and frauds’ cases at the National Elections Commission (NEC) are overburdening the NEC and the Supreme Court because of what many see as too many demands that the two bodies may not able to contend with and, as a result, may not realize the dream of electorates, except patriotic sacrifices are made.

Pleading for the ruling Unity Party (UP), Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman has persistently called on the NEC to produce pieces of evidence against itself until progress into their intervention case can proceed. While the NEC is yet to honor that request, the remaining 51 days of the Year 2017 might not be enough time to conclude the matter and complete the runoff elections.

NEC is yet to dispose of a total of 56 cases before it that have arisen from the October 10 polls. Yet, Sherman has filed a motion to the hearing office of the NEC to order the Commission to bring forward all journals and presiding officers’ work sheets in the October 10 elections.

He has argued that Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, NEC’s lead lawyer is in cohoots with the Commission to allegedly hide all documents with evidence of wrongdoing in connection with the October 10 polls.

UP, which failed to take advantage of the election law to “file complaints within seven days after the conduct of elections,” later succeeded in gaining access the process to intervene in the Liberty Party’s case, by means of what observers have described as ‘technical means and legal intimidation.’

The UP’s intervention case has now overshadowed almost all other hearings into the alleged irregularities and frauds while the landmark case of the Liberty Party is yet to be looked into by the Commission since it was reassigned to the Commission’s hearing body based on appeal.

Meanwhile, Sherman, along with his team has vowed that it does not matter how long it may take if the adjudication of all cases emanating from the entire electoral process is to be completed. “We don’t care even if it takes years. All we want is justice,” Sherman boasted.

Counter-arguing in for the NEC, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean said the UP’s attempt is to subvert democracy and return the country back to its dark days, though he did not explain what he meant with reference to the ‘dark days.’

“Your Honor, Mr. Hearing Officer, I plead that you throw this UP intervention case out and deny them the chance to any further hearing. They are crying more than LP who claimed to be the principal bereaved party in the October 10 elections,” Dean said.

Concerning UP’s request of the hearing officer to invite all other political parties who participated in the October 10 polls to explain their grievances about the process, should there be any, Cllr. Dean noted that UP wants to cause a deliberate delay until time for the much anticipated presidential transition is lost.

“It is not about us here only but also the millions of our fellow citizens who depend on the structures put in place to shape the destiny of this country. We must stop playing technicalities and the unnecessary politics if we mean well for this country we call our own,” Cllr. Dean cautioned.

Why the threat to the historic peaceful transition?

On October 29, the ruling Unity Party held a press conference and accused its standard bearer emeritus, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, of not supporting the party but the opposition party. The press statement, which was read by its national chairman, Wilmot Paye declared Madam Sirleaf “an ingrate and a troublemaker,” even though they have presented her before as a darling angel.

The All Liberian Party (ALP) of businessman Benoni Urey and the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Benedict Cummings and the Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine also supported the UP’s action against President Sirleaf and they are presently in a well-organized political alliance.

Responding yesterday to the Daily Observer at the ongoing hearing at the NEC, Madam Melinda B. Charles, the executive director for Women and Children Development Association (WOCDA), said the women of Liberia want justice for all, but not to the detriment of the country’s democracy.

“We are happy that this time around there is no war. The justice system is good for all of us but playing games or technicalities with the very justice system may carry us backward,” Madam Charles said.

“The women of this nation fought for this peace and we want peace forever,” she continued. “All the parties involved in the ongoing elections cases should work hard and save time to allow President Sirleaf turn over power to whoever is elected between Sen. George M. Weah and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.”

Many Liberians are wondering how the state of affairs will be, should President Sirleaf not be able to turn power over to her successor at the end of her term.

If Senate Pro Tempore Armah Jallah is not constitutionally qualified to take care of the government until elections are held then it means that the country will have to go back to transitional government arrangement, many Liberians have speculated.

Senator Jallah’s tenure as Pro Tempore will end in January 2018 when President Sirleaf leaves office. And this gives room for the predicted constitutional crisis that many Liberians and observers have alluded to, which has been rejected by the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, (CDC).

Since the previous two presidential elections were successfully conducted with significant help from the international community, many Liberians are worried that Liberians are failing to execute an election that “only Liberians are managing.”

Authors

12 COMMENTS

  1. The blame for the imbroglio currently unfolding in our country should be squarely laid n the laps of president Sirleaf. She created this mess in the first place as a byproduct of the gross incompetence of this Jerome Korkoyah man. From the day Korkoyah was handpicked for this critical task, people from all walks of life including even people from the very NEC alarmed us that the man was not up to the task, yet president Sirleaf did not listen. She acted as usual like she knows best and the rest of us must just follow like bunch of sheep. And these accusations were not just about the man’s incompetence but that most of all he was darn corrupt on top of that. Some of his underlings came out publicly to give us examples of the man’s dishonesty but like other times, madam “Africa first female president” trashed all of those revelations and proceeded as if we were all stupid. If the chairman of the NEC’s incompetence, his lack of integrity, and his non-citizenship were not enough telltale signs of things to come, then what else needed to happen before any good leader would take corrective measure? I guess only God knows what else we could have said or done to have prevented this other mess from happening.

  2. There will be no transitional government, the constitution spells out the line of succession in crisis like this, government remains intact with the next in line taking over as acting pres until problem is solved.

  3. Read: 1st Timothy 3; Jeremiah 42:6, and Numbers 23:19. No human being can stop this Judiciary decision to exercise the freedom of choice. Election will be constitutionally on time as the other two branches of the Liberian government, Executive, and Legislative stay within the limits of their own functions. Wait for the next final result on God’s time in peace. Whether re-run or run-off. Vote or abstain in peace for prosperity and stability. The factual actual Presidential win is the true count.
    Gone to silent majority. Do not reply this box.

  4. NOW LIBERIANS, IT SHOULD BE ANTICIPATED THAT, AS THE FIRST ELECTORAL TRANSFER OF POWER, OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IS STILL NEW AND YOUNG; MANY OF SUCH COMPLAINTS OF FRAUD, IRREGULARITIES, UNFairness WOULD BE PREFERRED TO THE NEC AFTER OCT. 10! ALL, IF NOT MOST OF THESE COMPLAINTS WOULD BE ON SIMILAR ISSUES OF FRAUD, IRREGULARITIES, CORRUPTION, IN ONE FORM OR THE OTHER! HANDLING THESE COMPLAINS SHOULD BE SIMPLE FOR THE NEC. FROM THE RECENT PERFORMANCES OF MOST PARTIES, THEY FAILED TO MEET REASONABLE VOTERS ROLL DURING THE PROCESS TO WARRANT HAVING ALL OF THEIR GRIEVANCES ADDRESSED PRIOR TO THE RUN-OFF ELECTION! SUCH COMPLAINTS WILL BE REVIEWED BASIS BY BASIS FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS! SINCE LP AND THE OTHER TOP/LEADING PARTIES’ COMPLAINTS TOO, ARE AROUND FRAUD AND ELECTION IRREGULARITIES, ALL OF SUCH COMPLAINTS CAN BE SUMMARIZED AND REVIEWED UNDER ONE COMMON COMPLAINT WITH SUCH ALLEGATIONS. AS THE FIRST ELECTION OF TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT, THERE IS BOUND TO BE IRREGULARITIES AND SOME MANNER OF “FRAUDULENT.” ALLEGATIONS. OUR ELECTORAL AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES ARE NEW, IMMATURE, AND ARE BOUND TO HAVE FLAWS, IRREGULARITIES, FRAUD, ETC. INITIALLY! NEVERTHELESS., IN ADDING MATTERS OF THIS ELECTION, WE HAVE TO LOOK TO THE “ESSENCE” OF THE COMPLAINTS AND DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT ANY APPARENT FRAUDULENT ACTS, IRREGULARITIES, OR ERRORS ON THE PART OF THE NEC, ARE HANDFUL AND DETRIMENTAL TO LP AND THE OTHER PARTIES, IN SUCH AN UNACCEPTABLE, IRREVERSIBLE, AND HARMFUL MANNER AS TO WARRANT AN UNDUE IMPAIRMENT OF FAIRNESS, IMPARTIALITY, AND FREEDOM OF THIS 2017 ELECTORAL PROCESS; AND POSE AN UNDUE HARM AND DETRIMENT TO OUR PROCESS OF DEMOCRACY AS TO DEM IT NULL AND VOID? THAT IS THE ONLY QUESTION FOR THE COURT AND THE NEC!

  5. This is the legacy of the so called “progressive” movement of the 70s. Inept and corrupt people serving in almost every corner of Government (elected and appointed) compounded by a disorderly and diseased system plagued by all sorts of chicanery. Own it.

  6. “Senator Jallah’s tenure as Pro Tempore will end in January 2018 when President Sirleaf leaves office. And this gives room for the predicted constitutional crisis that many Liberians and observers have alluded to, which has been rejected by the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, (CDC).”

    The Senate will just elect a new Pro Temp right? The biggest concern should be the empty House of Representatives for 60 days.

  7. I am a non partisan of any political party, but I strongly disagree with Cllr. Dean
    that Unity Party subvert the Liberian Democracy. It is the National Elections that
    subverts the elections by going to a private meeting Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf home
    for a secret meeting. What was discussed there was never disclosed to the
    Liberian just before the October 10. 2017 ran in. So, ,who to blame? NEC of course!

  8. Cllr, dean is a foolish man…he’s very unprofessional of being a lawyer. I bet my kindergarten school child can defeat him in court

  9. All that’s being done in Liberia these days is for disgruntled individuals to point fingers. The pointing of fingers is woebegone! It doesn’t solve an iota of problems.
    Take a look at a few examples of accusations:

    …Brumskine is devious,
    …Korkoya must recuse,
    …Johnson-Serleaf undermines her party,
    …Weah acts like a bully,
    …Boakai is in cohorts with Brumskine,
    …Unity Party threatens to subvert demoncracy,
    …Urey is a spoiler,
    …McDella Cooper is a loser, etc.
    What’s coming up next?
    Instead of doing the work of the Liberian people, fingers are being pointed for the sole purpose of satisfying the egos of a bunch of self-centered individuals.

    Weeks after the October 10 elections and the cancellation of a constituted runoff, the Liberian government is quiet. When one hears something, it’s all accusations.

  10. If their thinking is on interim government let then
    just forget about it because i don’t think Liberian
    will support that for now.

  11. Those that are vieing for one of this country’s highest offices are not sincere to themselves, equally so they will not lead this country for the betterment of its citizenry. The rule of law is vividly lacking in this whole electorial process, why can’t the Liberian follow the rules of law? Is it because of the illiteracy rate? Is it because the Liberian people have not been exposed to having a genuine, free and fair elections for over decades? These few fruits of thought need to be looked at critically. There are renounced lawyers in this great country, why our country can not be among the comity of nation once again and forever?

  12. Counselor Dean, stop blaming the Unity Party for this mess. The National Election Commission whom you represent as a lawyer created this mess! You have yourself to blame. Why didn’t NEC address the complaints of Liberty Party?

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