National Elections Commission Chairman Jerome Korkoya yesterday assured the Liberia Senate that the cleanup of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) will be completed in time for the December 26, 2017 presidential runoff. But he did not tell the Senate that he and his Commission had already dispatched the UNCLEANED FRR to several parts of the country for display.
This is a patent violation of the Supreme Court mandate that the FRR be cleaned up before being sent to the polling stations and Election Magistrates.
Only on Monday, December 18, NEC said they had completed 85% of the cleaning of the voter roll and that this was done in line with the technicians from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). NEC further said that by mid next week the entire FRR would be completely cleaned up.
Yet the Daily Observer reliably learned yesterday that contrary to the mandate of the Supreme Court, the National Elections Commission had already started dispatching the FRR to various polling stations and Election Magistrates around the country.
The question is, what was the condition of the FRR that has already been dispatched to the polling stations and Election Magistrates? For since the cleanup exercise has not yet been completed, how was it possible that NEC could have already sent the FRR to Election Magistrates and polling stations?
Yet Chairman Korkoya told the Liberia Senate that the cleanup of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) would be completed in time for the December 26, 2017 runoff election.
How is it possible that the FRR could already have been dispatched to many polling stations and Election Magistrates around the country BEFORE the FRR had been cleaned up?
This clearly demonstrates that these people are determined to and intent on rigging the elections by maintaining their fixed FRR regardless of what the Supreme Court’s mandate that the FRR be cleaned up before the runoff election, and before it is transmitted to the polling stations and Election Magistrates.
Yet Chairman Korkoya told the Senate yesterday that the cleanup of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) will be completed in time for the December 26, 2017 presidential runoff.
But what kind of FRR will it be when most of the fraudulent FRR that was used in the October 10 elections, causing Liberty Party’s standard bearer Charles Brumskine, the Unity Party and other political parties to flee to the Supreme Court to complain of massive electoral irregularities and fraud?
This newspaper, Daily Observer, has over its past several Editorials, called for a comprehensive and thorough reform of the entire FRR because it was the grossly faulty FRR that led to the rigging of the October 10 elections.
Clearly, however, NEC, its Chairman and Board of Commissioners seem to have no intention of obeying the Supreme Court’s mandate. That is why the political parties, especially Unity Party and Liberty Party, have again run to the Supreme Court to complain that NEC has already announced a date, December 26, for the runoff, before taking any step to cleanup the FRR, in keeping with the Supreme Court mandate.
That is precisely why we have said that NEC has not taken the Supreme Court seriously.
It remains to be seen whether the Court will accept Mr. Korkoya’s recalcitrance and allow him and his fellow Commissioners to continue to conduct a fraudulent runoff in the same way they conducted the October 10 election in the first place.
Should this happen—and we hope and pray that it won’t— the Court would have abdicated its constitutional responsibility.
This would lead the parties, particularly the UP, to run to the ECOWAS Court. Remember in one of our recent Editorials that we prayerfully hoped that the Supreme Court of Liberia would seize the magnitude of the moment and do what it had to do in the case that came before it.
Should the parties be compelled to run to the ECOWAS Court, who else besides NEC and the powers that be would be responsible for leading this nation to a totally unnecessary constitutional crisis?
The answer would, of course, be the Supreme Court of Liberia. We hope that the Court is able to save itself and all of us from that.