Urey Concerned over Number of Excess Ballots

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Urey interacts with imams, explains ALP contributions to Muslim Community

“It tends to undermine conduct of peaceful elections,” he says.

Although the National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Jerome G. Korkoya has clarified the commission’s decision to bring in excess presidential ballots for the October 10 elections, the standard bearer of the opposition All Liberian Party (ALP), said the excess ballot papers is alarming.

Korkoya’s explanation was in response to comments and questions from the public regarding the commission’s decision to bring into the country nearly one million excess presidential ballots.

But Mr. Benoni Urey said the excess ballot papers were something to keep the public in worry, “Because it tends to undermine the conduct of the peaceful elections.”

Mr. Urey made the comments yesterday in Monrovia when a group of Imams, headed by Liberia’s Chief Imam Ali Krayee, visited him to pray ahead of the upcoming elections, on the ALP’s invitation.

 

Urey with Chief Imam of Liberia, Ali Krayee

“While we know there are excess ballot papers always, this number is alarming. Firstly, no one expects the entire 2.1 million registered voters to vote on October 10th and so there is no need to bring more than 20 percent excess ballot papers,” Mr. Urey said.

The ALP standard-bearer said he believes that about 75 to 80 percent of the registered voters will show up for the elections to vote, which already indicates that there will be some extra ballot papers.

Mr. Urey hoped that representatives from political parties, elections’ observers and the international community will be there to supervise the distribution of the ballots and ensure that the excess ballots are fully monitored.

“We believe this election should be free, fair, transparent and peaceful because most often we don’t talk about the peaceful aspect. Most often, the international community is only concerned about whether the elections were peaceful, but the ALP looks forward to free, fair and transparent elections,” Mr. Urey said.

Commenting on the generational change issue, Mr. Urey said while he agreed with the president’s views, it should be about people who are prepared and qualified educationally.
This, he said, “can be time for younger people to take over the government, but they must be competent young people. The president needed to include competent, qualified and experienced and not just on generational change because we want to change.”

On the Imams’ visit, he said “We are privileged to receive some eminent personalities. We have some time to explain to them how we believe they should be part of this entire process and they are able to listen to us.”

The ALP also explained its role and contributions to the Muslim community over the years, which some have admitted to and noted that the ALP will continue to work with all Liberians.

The Chief Imam, Ali Krayee, said they were pleased to visit the ALP standard bearer and also to pray with him ahead of the elections.

He said the Imam Council of Liberia will continue to work in the interest of Liberia, even after the elections, to ensure that Liberia is peaceful.

“We always say that those who serve and work in the humanity of God must pray for God to continue to bless us and we are pleased that the ALP can request our presence and to highlight some of the things done within the Muslim community,” Imam Karyee said.

“We heard that elections’ observers are in Liberia now, especially international observers and many times, they are interested in the process of vote casting and the way the results come out. This time, we don’t want them to just observe the casting of the votes, but to also assure us that what transpires at polling centers actually continue to the head office of NEC where the results will be announced,” Imam Karyee said.

Religious communities have increased their involvement in the political development leading to the October 10th elections. They have appealed to God to bless electorates to avoid anything that could lead the country into unnecessary events. The Christian community has supplicated to God, urging Christians to demonstrate love for country and work together with other faiths, particularly the Muslim Community, to ensure sustainable peace for the country.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I am just noticing something no more coat suit in Liberia? I see people wearing country clothes like town chiefs me i am getting confuse.

  2. It is encouraging that a presidential candidate identifies with the NEC – Watch (civil society vigilance) spearheaded tirelessly by few journalists. Kudos, Mr. Ben Urey, Liberia doesn’t want commotion during these elections. We shouldn’t forget the causes of the civil war in Ivory Coast.

  3. Urey’s contention that extra ballots are crisscrossing the Liberian political landscape is unfounded. A few weeks ago, it was reported in leading Liberian newspapers that Urey’s employment in Taylor’s government was questionable as it relates to money he was paid. The investigation in his employment during the Taylor years, noted that money was often deposited in his bank account mysteriously. Well, if that investigation in Urey’s past is genuine, Urey should not waste his precious time by sounding alarm bells about extra ballots. There seems to be an inexplicable dark cloud in Urey’s past.

    • F. Hney, Urey contention is indeed valid, what if those excess ballots land in the hands of a candidate? don’t you think that candidate would use it to his/her advantage? Urey past has nothing to do with the issue he raised.

  4. Come on Menslah, you know better than that! First of all, you and I as well as the Liberian people must learn to trust the system. The system being the Elections Commission that’s headed by Korkoya and others. They are not perfect at all, but come on gentlemen, can we give them a benefit of the doubt? I am absolutely certain that steps will be taken to quash any negative activity.

    As it relates specifically to extra ballots landing in the hands of a presidential contender, well, it is highly unlikely that “extra ballots” will be thrown around so carelessly. I agree with you…..in politics, nothing is impossible. But, that’s how far I will agree with you for now. Okay, so my question is this: Will Urey return any “extra ballots” if he found them on his way to a booth to vote?

    Menslah, you cannot be serious to suggest that Urey’s past should be forgotten or disregarded. Think about it my fellow compatriot. Please do! Look, your body Urey wakes up in the morning and all of a sudden, $1,000,000 is found in his saving account. The money is ordered by his boss to be deposited as such. Then Urey says “okay Jesus….this is like manna from heaven”. Ha, ha!

    So let’s visit your scenario for a second. Extra ballots are found in the trunk of Mr. Urey’s car. Bam! No questions asked. Guess what…..that’s how $1,000,000 was deposited in his account without Urey ever asking questions. He bought a house for his daughter, but claims that his daughter bought the house. Ridiculous! And you want me to forget the past? Menslah, let’s work together to build a better Liberia. Okay bro?

    This is political season. Dirt is being thrown all over the place. Maybe, the cloudy money deal or dirt that’s bandied about is false. But, that’s exactly what I read about Urey. For now, brother Menslah, I will not forego that issue. It is hot potato.

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