UP Disagrees with US Position on Run-off Election

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Up lead lawyer and former Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh

“They are losing sight of the fact of the reality of our complaints,” says UP lead lawyer Sannoh

The lawyer representing the ruling Unity Party (UP) has openly expressed concern over a statement the United States Government issued through its Embassy in Monrovia, urging authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to proceed with the run-off elections, despite unresolved allegations of irregularities and fraud.

Arguing for a request demanding that the NEC makes available to the UP all records of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, which is now at the center of the controversy, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, accused the US Government of losing sight of the fact and nature of the party’s complaint.

UP is seeking for a copy of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) for the October 10 elections, and copies of the addenda to the voter roll made at the polling centers nationwide.

It also asked for copies of the worksheet of the NEC’s Presiding Officer, who was arrested in Electoral District #3 in Nimba County with pre-marked ballots.

UP is also asking for records of the investigation conducted by the NEC on a staff at the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  The staff in question was arrested with a machine for allegedly printing  Voter Registration Cards and other election materials at his New Georgia home.

In a release on Wednesday, the US Embassy accredited near Monrovia said it has confidence in the integrity of the hotly contested October 10 presidential and representative elections now embroiled in controversy and a legal tangle. The Embassy indicated that no accredited Liberian, regional, or international observation group suggested that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process.

Before his argument, Sannoh told the gathering, many of whom were staff of the embassy, that for elections to be free, fair and transparent, “it must first be legal and meet the approval of all parties.”

“For the embassy and other international bodies to say we should proceed with the run-off, because it was free, fair and transparent, is not the matter, but its outcomes must reflect the will of the Liberian people,” Sannoh said.

He added, “The Americans are losing sight of the fact of the reality of our complaints.”

The US Embassy’s statement also noted that Liberia’s political leaders should take their cue from citizens who waited patiently to vote, and did so with respect for their fellow citizens, regardless of their political views. It added that efforts by any actor to impede the expressed will of Liberians for personal ambition could risk goodwill and future investments in the country by international partners.

“The Liberian people and the international community have worked too hard and invested too much to watch the country’s progress stall,” the statement said.

The United States said it remains committed to Liberia’s future and encourage the citizens to conclude the presidential electoral process as soon as possible to allow the democratic and economic progress to continue. Where issues were identified in the first round of voting, the statement advised, “we urge the National Elections Commission (NEC) to undertake corrective actions before, during, and after the runoff election.”

It then urged the top two finishers, the ruling Unity Party Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Senator George Weah, who collectively received the support of two-thirds of the voters, to focus on constructively engaging each other and voters as they prepare to compete in the runoff.

Meanwhile Supreme Court’s ruling into the UP request is scheduled for today, November 17.

30 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t support LP, UP or CDC because they are all the same politicians fighting for their salaries. Liberia’s 170 year old deadly, corrupt and broken system of governance in Liberia needs to be abandoned! The truth is this: The USA is the chief patron of corruption in Liberia. Here is the evidence: Aside from the hundreds of thousands of dollars they collect in visa fees and go on to deny Liberians visa, I can’t recall the US or EU Embassies ever issuing statements on the sweeping powers of the Liberian presidency including the appointment of mayors, ritualistic killings, excessive salaries and benefits of officials or the denial of visa without justifications or the violation of human rights of people evacuated by the US Military in 2003 only to be abandoned in America for decades. With endemic corruption, barbaric ritualistic killings of vulnerable Liberians and the exorbitant filing fees for candidates, Legislative conflict of interest,…Liberia’s system of governance is deadly, corrupt and broken and the United States of America and EU nurture and sustains corruption in Liberia. If they can’t cry wolf

    • The answer isn’t “abandonment”. We tried this already and the results were disastrous.

      1. We need to improve the system via amendments
      2. We need competent, honest and hardworking people in the system i.e. elected officials, appointees and civil servants (from top to bottom) who can effect and implement change

      Both of these things start with the Liberian people making better choices of who they elect to the Executive, House and Senate. See what is happening today because the Americans decided to elect Trump? The system has always been designed to evolve and adapt but many Liberians are in the constant habit of supporting people who are not skilled and/or interested enough to drive forward with the changes we want to see.

  2. Who is the US into our elections process. Let us go according to our constitution and forget about the US statement concerning our process.

    • Don’t bad mouth the U.S.A; when it comes to Liberia. The consequences of such behaviors can/may be devastating- absolutely detrimental to even a wealthy Nation; needless to say Liberia. The U.S is the most powerfu/influencial Country in the World. Stop the RHETORIC! Liberia has a special relation/bond to the U.S.A. It is to Liberia’s best interest to maintain “GOOD RELATIONS”; with the U.S.A. *Just a reminder: Liberia as we know today, is a United States’ creation in Africa. The U.S has every right to monitor Liberia’s Political Quagmire. The U.S is infact making positive contributions, to solve the Political Stalemate in Liberia. This is a situation that could very well lead a major “CATASTHROPHY”. Let’s avoid, with the help of whoever…

  3. Ok. We are watching. Liberians are telling Ellen Johnson that her deeds are known, everythihg will come to light b4 and after she leaves.

  4. The US has a right to involve itself in the political stalemate that’s dragging our country in a ditch. The involvement of the US is not destructive, rather it helps to put fire on the backs of Liberian politicians who don’t seem to get it.
    Just a week or two ago, the ECOWAS organization dispatched the Ghanaian Foreign Minister to Liberia to discuss common sense issues with Liberia’s leadership. Furthermore, the EU warned the Liberian government that the political issue needed to be resolved quickly. When the above entities involved themselves in the affairs of Liberia, there wasn’t an outcry of “foreign leaders please butt out”! Is there a wave of anti-Americanism within our ranks? Or are we playing politics?

    Without a shred of doubt, Liberia is engulfed in a mess. We are on a slippery slope. The situation in Liberia needs to be taken care of expeditiously in order to avoid a collapse of the institutions of government. Let’s not forget that the US has played a very good role of helping Liberia and continues to do even up to this day.

    Years ago when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa, he said that the ANC welcomed help from any source in order to instill human values in the subconscious minds of the white ruling minority. Communist Russia and guerrilla organizations like the PLO helped the ANC. And yes, the ANC became victorious.

    The truth of the matter is Liberia desperately needs help! Unlike the PLO that vowed to destroy Israel, the US, the EU and ECOWAS are not destructive in any way, neither do they come close to being a destabilising force. Our purpose in Liberia therefore is to embrace the efforts that are being made by the US one others.

  5. This is a bad way report a story. At no time did the US Government say we should disregard LP and UP complaint and proceed to the run-off. The US is just asking that we fast track the legal process.

    The US Government is clear on this subject: no report of fraud was observed from all the people we called observers. Does that mean there was no fraud? Through the eyes of US Government, NO. So LP and UP should proof the US Government wrong.

    However, this must be done quickly and without any suspicion of unnecessary delays. Simple.

  6. This is a bad way to report a story. At no time did the US Government say we should disregard LP and UP complaint and proceed to the run-off. The US is just asking that we fast track the legal process.

    The US Government is clear on this subject: no report of fraud was observed from all the people we called observers. Does that mean there was no fraud? Through the eyes of US Government, NO. So LP and UP should proof the US Government wrong.

    However, this must be done quickly and without any suspicion of unnecessary delays. Simple.

  7. Ok…here we go Liberians, the UP, a “toothless tiger”. is picking the wrong fight. The fight that probably will leads to it demise. Ask the NPP or NDPL. Where are they? UP partisans and supporters, there is a saying in Liberia that: “you cannot be sitting on my shoulder and you complaint of my mouth ordor”.
    We are one of the most corrupt and poorest country in the world. All because our political leaders does not care about the ordinary citizen. The US is telling NEC and The Supreme Court to hurry up and do this business within the time frame of the Constitution; UP and CDC to concentrate on the runoff. Does anything wrong with that?

    The very UP and the three other political parties craving for state power, where will the money come from to embezzle when in power, if the USA throw sanction on your regime. Sinister motives are catching with them. Why didn’t they craticized the ECOWAS, when Furr Eyadema and Conteh came 3 weeks ago.

    UP, LP, Urey and Cummings…..guys, you are depending deeply on foreign money and donors to run your government, when you win. Other wise your leadership will preside over an economical sanctioned failed state. You don’t want me tell you what that means. Read about Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia herzegovina, etc…in the 90s (1990 to 1996)

  8. Referring to tough – talking posturing, Sierra Leoneans say in Krio, “Big muff nor no say hin master poor”, meaning: Unknown to boastfulness it has a pauper for boss hence struts around being unruly or promising stuff to others. The catch – it costs money to bail one from jail and to pay for stuff.

    Folks, the statement from Uncle Sam isn’t stopping investigation, adjudication, or correction of the electoral “irregularities” from going on; all it suggests is that the more than one million Liberians – ala “All power is inherent in the people” – who dared rain and sun to patiently wait and vote are the primary stakeholders so, for them, UP and CDC should “focus on the run – off”. Truth be told, unless one has an ulterior motive for delaying, and, by extension, postponing democratic transfer of power on January 18, the US appeal is frank, farsighted, and fruitful.

    Folks, foreigners factor in the hope of the vast majority Country – Congua and the need for national tranquility to support a nascent democracy while, unbelievably, politicians and their enablers expediently talk reason to death under the guise of principles. Perhaps, we forget that elections are about the people, not those that invariably feather their own nests at the expense of suffering masses. A case in point, one – third of annual budget goes to a bloated payroll, which includes the highest compensation packages in the sub – region for officials of the three branches of government and state corporations, when basic necessities area a rarity: UP, CDC and LP legislators guilty as charged.

    Folks, as we write, many in marginalized communities of our major cities are allegedly grumbling that fear of losing these bonanza giveaways have united the beneficiaries and their cheerleading squads in resisting continuation of the elections in order to usher an interim government. Indeed misperceptions, but as the days go by and hard times linger on without a solution, they could stir radicalization of the dispossessed.

    And, folks, to end, it is about time concerned Liberians everywhere, particularly those in the Diaspora, seriously engage the existential conversation to help deflect the gathering storm on the horizon of our country. Please, if you do, think millions of poor people – not identity politics, partisanship, or elitist cronyism – to successfully accomplish the mission.

  9. Bah is at it again. In Bah’s opinion, no party measures up to par except the CDC. Bah gives the impression or cleverly informs his readers that CDC is willing and ready to deal, but all other parties are dragging their feet.
    Bah asks….”where will the money come from when you are in power”?
    Okay, let me ask Bah……..if CDC gets in power, where will money come from?

    Bah, let me give you a pep talk….tell your man Weah and your enemy Boakai to put their differences aside for the common good of the country. That’s it.

  10. The UP, LP Cummings and Urey are all dishonest. Why are they crying now? Why are they Collaborating now? To show how greedy and selfish they are, they should have collaborated from the begainning. Urey, Cummings, OLD MAN Boikai and Brumskins vote all combine, would atleast make a reasonable number. But, as it is ssid , ” a selfish and mean person, is a stupid person”. Now that they have realized that neither one of them can win the presidency against CDC by going alone.
    Their whole plan is a rerun so they can collaborate and go against the CDC. It is too late . You guys are very dishonest. Your plans have cought up wih you …..NO WAY, the Liberian people have seen the trick.

    You guys are using the Supreme Court as a PAWN.

  11. Mr. F. Hney,
    Good afternoon Sir. I like your comment on me, thank you sir. I read your comment with intrigue!
    I would have back UP, LP or any other political party, had they be in numerical advantage as CDC. Because thats the voice of the LIBERIAN PEOPLE. I stand with the choice of the Liberian people. Even if it is you, Mr. Hney, if the lLiberian people want you, I respect their choice.

    Let UP and CDC go to the runoff within the time frame of the constitution. Our brothers on the otherside are creating an unnecessary delay to pass the scheduled time frame in the Constitution for a rerun. Then they can form a collaborative force against CDC. Something that would have been done from the begaining.

    People with cheating hrarts, are filled with EGOs. They don’t care about anyone else, but themselves. This is really our problem in Liberia. We inherited this kind of thinking from those that ruled us from 1847 to 1980. Certian secton of the society was completely arginalized. You know sir, you have a better knowledge about it than me.

  12. Does the name mean you can’t read with understanding? Do you think if LP, ANC, ALP and Unity party go against your dummy CDC, Weah, they wouldn’t win? Do the math, I’m not sure if you can do the math either. You need to understand that your CDC, LP, ALP and ANC are all opposition parties. What the rest of the oppositions understand is Your CDC is not able govern Liberia at this critical time.
    This elections are not popularity contest, yes George is popular with youth in Liberia, but most the youths do not understand what is at stake.

  13. This is a country matter, it’s not a family things. So I expected all of us; to wisely think as much as we can by pushing this country forward.
    It’s our priority to think for improvement’s in our country at large. I am begging the N.E.C and the M.O.J to hurry.. .up……

  14. Liberia is at a cross road at this junction for a peaceful transition on January 16, 2018. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon all patriotic nationalists to put Mama Liberia first against personal agenda. In my view the choice is crystal clear for the next leadership.

  15. Yes’ with Liberian known too much of everything and full of too much big mouth ‘boastful of too much education will not listen to the voice of the people but when thing gets out of hands then we will start seeking for help from the same U S. we are refusing to seek advice from.those same so called lawyers that are prolonging the process all because of their own selfish ambitions will be the same people crying for help. I suggest that we listen to the voices that are crying for change now.if u are a true Liberian and have love for ur country just look and compare our 170 years old country with neighboring countries liberia helped to gained their own independent development wise.Aren’t we ashamed to continue doing the same thing without fruitful results years after years? The too much PhDs have not helped our country’so I suggest that we try new breed of people. I am not and will never go against educated folks ‘but haven’t born and raised in Liberia our educated people only have interest in their own pockets instead of the country to say a few.

  16. Have your LP, UP, ALP etc….done any good for Liberia? Check your self better before you write a comment. This very WAR that we all are trying to just wake up from its ashes (1990 to 2003) was created by the UP. If you people ( LEFTIST RADICALS, BOOK PEOPLE) new CDC cannot govern, why allow the standard bearer to contest?
    You guys are playing with a dangerous situstion.
    Now….that we , the Liberians have realized that the entire motives behind this impass, is to get rid of George Weah CDC in the elctoral process. As I always comment, I m not a CDC voter or supporter, but rather on the side of the Liberian People. I respect their choice.

  17. To Ms. Helen Skinner , if you add up the number LP, UP, Urey’s and Cummings’ it will beat the CDC. Those of you supporting Brumskins and his followers in dragging this procees, ask yourself a simple question. If the goal is to stop WEAH, why didn’t you form a coalition from the begining? You people claim that you ( BOOK PEOPLE AND SUPPORTERS….FOLLOWERS OF BRUMSKINS AND OTHER ) are the most educated and smart Liberian who posses leadership qualites….your actions is nothing but foolishness which, in the past has thrown Liberia in War and Caos. Atleast, the man you guys claim does not have leadership qualty, cannot read and cannot articulate formed a coalition. Non of you ( “BOOKISH AND SMART DEGREE HOLDER DID”), all because of greed.

    The defination of INSANITY: Is doing one thing over and over and expecting diffrent resuilt. This is what our so-called “educate people” been doing in Liberia. The results, at every level, is sending thousands of Liberians to their early graves….since 1979.

    THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER, WE WANT PEACE, NOT PIECES. WE ARE TIRED WITH LIES AND ” sectionalism”.

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