Good News from Chairman Korkoya, But…

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National Elections Commission Chairman Jerome Korkoya yesterday called the Publisher of the Daily Observer, Kenneth Y. Best, to complain bitterly about the newspaper’s frequent and persistent calls on him and his boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, that the NEC Chairman should do his work credibly and faithfully in organizing a free, fair, credible and transparent election or step aside, or be fired.

Mr. Korkoya’s call followed our lead story yesterday, raising the question as to whether NEC was unwilling to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandate that NEC should clean up the Final Registration Roll (FRR) before the presidential runoff can be organized.

It has been four days since the Supreme Court’s ruling and, given the anxiety of the entire Liberian public about when and how the runoff will take place, Chairman Korkoya has said nothing, nor has he done anything to give the public some idea as to how he feels about the Court’s ruling and what he plans to do about it.

And given the fact that Mr. Korkoya himself and several of his officials at NEC have before insisted that “nothing” was wrong with the FRR, people are wondering what Mr. Korkoya and his Commission will do about this mandate from the highest court of the land.

For the past several months, long before the four political parties – Liberty Party (LP), Unity Party (UP), All Liberian Party (ALP) and Alternative National Congress (ANC), took NEC to the Supreme Court complaining about the widespread irregularities and fraud that characterized the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections, this newspaper, Daily Observer, has been frequently highlighting the problems relating to the organization and execution of the elections.

At one point we reported about how Amos Siebo, an employee in President Sirleaf’s office, was operating a machine at his Johnsonville home, producing voter registration cards and registering voters. After the story broke out, NEC said it had turned Siebo over to the Justice Ministry, who took the matter to court. Since then we understand that Siebo is back at his job in the Executive Mansion. Does the Mansion or any of its officials there care about the implications of all this?

During yesterday’s telephone conversation with the Observer Publisher, Chairman Korkoya insisted that there was no way he could disobey the Supreme Court, since he himself is a lawyer. “I have always respected and obeyed the Court, though sometimes I disagree with the Court,” he said.

For us, this was good news, but . . .

The Observer Publisher reminded Chairman Korkoya that time was not on his side because the Liberian people are anxiously awaiting a word on when and how he (Korkoya) would implement the Court’s order to clean up the FRR and how long would it take before a presidential runoff can be announced.

One of the questions Mr. Korkoya put to the Publisher was, “What have I done to you?”

“It’s not about you, but about the interests and concerns of the Liberian people,” was the Publisher’s reply.

The Daily Observer’s frequency and persistence in calling public attention to these urgent electoral matters and laying them squarely at the feet of NEC Chairman Korkoya is simply because it is he who is in charge of the NEC, the institution clothed with the authority to conduct elections in Liberia. The NEC is one of the foremost INTEGRITY organizations in the country. The NEC, therefore, has to be and has to be seen to be an INTEGRITY organization.  It is, therefore, grossly surprising that Chairman Korkoya does not understand this.

Be that as it may, the highly positive element that the Observer Publisher garnered from yesterday’s conversation with Mr. Korkoya is that the NEC Chairman said he cannot and will not disobey the Supreme Court’s ruling that NEC should clean up the FRR. But the NEC Chairman did not say when and how he would carry out the Court’s mandate.

The Observer Publisher took pains to remind the Chairman that time was not on his side, and that the entire Liberian public, who are keenly interested in and directly affected by the FRR clean-up exercise, are anxiously awaiting word on when and how it will be done to the complete satisfaction of not only the political parties but the Liberian people themselves.

So while we welcome Chairman Korkoya’s expressed commitment to obey the Court’s mandate, we all—that is the entire Liberian populace—want to know when this will take place and how.

The public also wonders whether the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), which already has a team ready to help in this cleanup exercise, will be invited to join in the cleanup exercise.

Chairman Korkoya and his boss, President Sirleaf, know that no one in this country can take ECOWAS for granted. Why? Because it is first to our ECOWAS brothers and sisters that we all will run should any postelection chaos occur in Liberia.

How will we answer when they tell us, “We came to your country at our own expense to try to help you clean up your mess, and you rejected us.”

Authors

3 COMMENTS

  1. If one Liberian, or any number of Liberians are injured or killed (God forbid) on account of the fallout from this obvious haphazardly prepared election, president Ellen Sirleaf must have herself to blame for that. Since the appointment of this American as head of our election commission he has demonstrated nothing characteristic of someone who knows what s/he is doing. When you even consider the fact there have been other elections before him, records of which he could have learned from, or used as template in carrying out his duties, life would have been so easy for him and by extension all of us. But this man has shown all along that he is one dull person, either hard to learn or unwilling to learn. Incidentally this has been ongoing from since the man was imposed on us. Most of the elections this man has presided over ended up in court afterwards. Only because of the typical Liberian sympathy, wherein party litigants in most of those grievances withdrew the cases from court in order to reconcile them the Liberian way, that those rigmarole subsided quietly. And perhaps the president gave him the opportunity to learn from those experiences in order to grow up and be more efficient on the job, but the man’s dullness just keeps getting in the way. Unfortunately he happens to occupy a very sensitive position in our efforts at democracy. This man’s action or lack thereof has the potential of elevating us one notch on our democratic ladder, or plunging us several levels down another hellfire.

  2. Thanks very much Daily Observer, but know the whole electoral problem is caused by
    President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. I hope you know that. The NEC as an institution with
    George Jerome Korkoya is only implementing the President direction to achieve her
    choice of CDC George Weah being elected. Why? Because she (President Sirleaf)
    wants immunity from CDC George Weah after office.

    WHY PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF WANTS IMMUNITY AFTER OFFICE?
    That is a hundred thousand dollar question! But I have a question. and it is; when a
    President of Liberia mismanaged the country while in office, should she or he not be
    held to answer for those things she or did that are of criminal nature? I believe
    absolutely! (1) Why were Hon. Harry A. Greaves, Jr. and Michael Allison murdered in such
    a secret manner and since their secret killing there has been no credible reaction nor
    any effort made to investigate their murder. (2) NOCAL is a Liberian people created
    institution to manage the all facets of oil production to benefit the people of Liberia.
    President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf placed her son Robert Sirleaf over that NOCAL and it
    became bankrupt. Why no investigation? Simply because President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    said that the Liberian people should her instead of her son. (3) The management and
    misuse of the Liberia Maritime generation of fund for Liberia has never benefit the country.
    There was a discovery of about $59 million dollars from the Maritime Fund spent for
    public relation with no benefit whatsoever come to Liberia. Most of the dubious spending
    came through the late Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr./Hon. Johnny McClean.
    In my opinion and in the opinions of other Liberians, Liberia needs no public relation;
    rather it needs spending the US$59 million dollars for development, just to name a few.

    Instead of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf leave office without fear, she is seeking for
    immunity and only person who will give it to her will be George Weah. Why not the
    President leaves and live on how good she executed her duties?

  3. P.T; no matter how you/we look at it, NOCAL would have gone BANKRUPT. Regardless! Yoi need to take all of NOCAL’S expenditures into considerations and minus that from the total NOCAL investment; then present a balance sheet, to convince us of NOCAL’S profitability. Go ahead. Do it. You seem to know it all.

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