It is indeed interesting that while there appears to be an avalanche of orchestrated calls from various quarters for parties challenging the fraudulent election results to drop their charges and move on to the runoff elections, yet none whatsoever has called into question the integrity of the Chairman of the NEC, Jerome Korkoya, whose displayed incompetence and lack of integrity have brought the nation to the brink of crisis.
It is even more interesting that President Sirleaf has maintained implicit confidence in an individual through whose actions she is now seen as the main culprit acting behind the scenes to ensure her chosen successor ascends to the high office of President of the Republic of Liberia.
By virtue of his very problematic performance in the handling of the October 10 elections, which has veered the nation towards crisis, Chairman Korkoya should either resign or be removed from office.
But for reasons highly considered suspect, President Sirleaf continues to maintain confidence in Korkoya. Additionally, the recent public statement by U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder expressing explicit confidence in the October 10 election results has apparently simply served to harden President Sirleaf’s seeming resolve to maintain the NEC leadership in its present configuration, never mind the host of integrity questions bedeviling the institution under his leadership.
Were such a situation, as currently obtains, to occur in other jurisdictions around the world, Korkoya would have long since resigned at his own volition or faced the consequences of being fired.
We all recall the honorable action which NEC Chairman James Fromoyan took following the 2011 presidential and legislative elections, when he inadvertently signed an erroneous letter concerning the outcome of those elections. He promptly tendered his resignation, which was accepted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
But as it appears, Chairman Korkoya’s demonstrated arrogance and openly expressed contempt for the judicial process, for example: dismissing the complaints against him as baseless and unwarranted even while the hearings at NEC are ongoing, points ominously to behind the scenes support coming from the very top.
All things considered, can President Sirleaf realistically expect the parties, especially her own Unity Party, to place their trust in Chairman Jerome Korkoya and have him preside over the runoff election, given all what we are now seeing from elections results posted on NEC’s website clearly revealing, for example, duplicate voter registration numbers, etc.?
Hardly likely ever, because such would mean that the parties will have to accept the same fraudulent results obtained from a process characterized by a plethora of irregularities and fraud.
We recall that the last two presidential and legislative elections of 2005 and 2011, respectively, experienced no such hiccups; they were free, fair and transparent! While it is important to note that the international community was heavily involved in the 2005 elections through direct elections support in terms of logistics and other forms of technical assistance, the 2011 elections were conducted with significantly less involvement of the international community and were virtually problem free.
And so after two successfully held presidential and legislative elections, why does the NEC find itself unable to conduct elections, including compiling an accurate and credible Voter Roll, which invariably is the lynch pin on which free, fair, transparent and credible elections are held? This is a question that demands answers; and as the country prepares for the runoff elections, we call on President Sirleaf to restore credibility to the process by effecting changes at NEC, including calling on Chairman Korkoya to honorably step aside, or else.