The Answer Is Anyone’s Guess!

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The Supreme Court’s concurrence with the objections raised by the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) calling for the cancellation of the referendum is indeed a welcome development.

By this singular act, it appears, the Supreme Court’s decision has significantly reduced some of the tensions associated with the impending December 8 elections.

The Supreme Court in its ruling declared:

“It being the finding of this Court that the Official Gazette is inconsistent with the dictate of the Constitution, prohibition will lie to prevent the  1st Respondent from relying thereupon in the execution of its functions.  The Constitution provides that ballots for a referendum shall present the proposed amendments to the people in such a manner so as to avail them the opportunity to vote for or against them separately.  With this Ruling, the Referendum, cannot take place until a new Gazette consistent with the Resolution of the Legislature is published, logos identified for the eight (8) proposed amendments, and public education and awareness conducted on the proposed amendments.”

Whoever may have advised, goaded, directed or encouraged NEC to propose the holding of the referendum to coincide with the December 8 Senatorial and Representative elections clearly misled the Commission, particularly its Chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah.

Questions are being asked, and rightly so, if the NEC Board of Commissioners deliberated on the matter, weighing its pros and cons. What, for example was the position of the in-house legal counsel on the issue knowing and being aware of the Constitutional implications?

It does appear strange that NEC Chairperson Lansanah, who had served as Commissioner prior to her appointment by President Weah to chair the electoral body, would not have been aware of the constitutional implications of the decision to hold the referendum given the fact that basic prerequisites, such as substantive civic voter education, had not been met.

In yesterday’s editorial, the Daily Observer listed ten (10) reasons why it believes the upcoming December 8 elections may not be credible.

Key and perhaps the most critical amongst the concerns listed is that of the integrity of the Voters’ Roll, presently undergoing a clean-up exercise led by a team of ECOWAS experts.

Insider sources confiding in this newspaper, say the non-biometric nature of the VR has rendered the task more difficult than originally thought.

And with just 18 days left to elections, there are questions whether the task will be completed in time enough to afford public vetting and verification of the sanitized VR.

And as would be expected, the Supreme Court may likely be faced with a flood of challenges to the results, especially coming from the ruling CDC, which has vowed to take Montserrado County at all costs.

Despite all the problems associated with the VR, NEC, it appears, is going full steam ahead with plans for the elections. Against the advice of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), NEC has already purchased voting materials that possibly include ballots from a company that did not participate in a competitive bidding process as required by law.

Insider sources say the supplier of the Voting Materials, UNIQUE Enterprises, is linked to a top government official. In view of this, the integrity of the voting material,s possibly including ballots, cannot be assured.

Despite all the observed shortcomings, the public appears well primed to go to the elections. As expected, the atmosphere  will be highly charged, and tension packed. To be sure, three (3) elections Magistrates are currently undergoing investigation on charges of fraud and unethical behavior.

Speaking recently during a two-day  Adjudication Dispute Workshop held at its headquarters, NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah declared that the Board of Commissioners of the electoral body will no longer cover or take responsibility for any wrongdoing committed by Election Magistrates. She declared: “NEC Magistrates are powerful groups of people during elections and must take full responsibility for their actions. Therefore, the BOC takes seriously the ongoing investigation involving three of the 19 Elections Magistrates”.

Implicit in those remarks, according to political observers, is a tacit admission that the NEC Board of Commissioners have in the past abetted or turned a blind eye to errant Magistrates accused of wrongdoing.

They cite the case of Magistrate Arthur Duogee of Grand Gedeh Country who has been accused by all contestants of fraudulent behavior and are calling for his removal.

This is in addition to similar accusations by others including a rural journalist from Grand Gedeh (name withheld) who, according to sources have provided video evidence against the said Magistrate Duogee, linking him to partisan activities. His fate has yet to be determined as the matter has since remained pending.

Whatever the case, the die is cast and the elections will be held on December 8, 2020, come what may. The tension is palpable and rising by the day. In Monrovia, groups of men dressed in gray colored military uniforms can be seen patrolling the streets, especially at night.

They are, according to sources, employed by the Monrovia City Corporation but they are widely believed to be CDC party loyalists that have been incorporated into the various state security organs including the Monrovia City Police.

Informed sources have told the Daily Observer that at least 60 seasoned and experienced Police officers have recently been retired without benefits in order to accommodate the new officers who were never publicly vetted and were recruited outside standing rules and regulations governing recruitment into the ranks of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

But a top security official has told the Daily Observer that state security is fully prepared to counter any protest action or violence arising out of the elections.

Recounting how the Police quickly dispersed demonstrators who had taken to the streets recently in response to calls by Council of Patriots (CoP) leader, Henry Costa, to stage public protests, the official declared: “Even if five or ten thousand protesters take to the streets, security will be prepared to deal with them”, the security official boasted.

But when asked what would be the response if one hundred thousand (100,000) protesters take to the streets, he remained tongue-tied. The answer could be anyone’s guess!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Come what may, everywhere Liberians look, they can find the power and fingerprints of Mr. George Manneh Weah, Samuel D. Tweah, and Nathaniel F. McGill and CDC, all over the upcoming December 8, 2020, Senatorial and Representative elections in Liberia. Of late, Liberians are reliably informed that outside of our laws and in a criminal association, ballot papers are reportedly being printed at the Neezone School owned and operated by Candidate Thomas Fallah, at the Congo town home of Mr. Mulbah Molu, Chairman of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). Ballot papers are also unlawfully printed at the headquarters of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the political party that is currently running Liberia.

    The criminal and the alleged unlawful printing of ballot papers at private homes and private properties outside of the laws of Liberia along with the string of distressing and disconcerting problems listed and reported by the Daily Newspaper, Liberians can say the upcoming December 8, 2020, Senatorial and Representatives Elections in Liberia are certainly and undeniably on their way of not been fair and credible.

    Why are Liberians sitting on their hands and not coming to challenge the December 8, 2020, elections?

    Liberia and our people might be heading for absolute and total trouble!

  2. The raison d’etre for or of the spirit of this editorial is as silly and lacks the required rationality and human reasoning equilibrium as is the absurdity of a Frederick Jayweh “calling on Liberians to challenge an election before it begins.“

    . Here we have an incumbent which, while in opposition as a single party won every election they contested even to the height of the presidency.

    And even after becoming incumbent has won fair and square relatively every elections they contested, with the exception of those elections they chose not to contest.

    And now, the very party is the incumbent within a coalition factually known to be the largest grassroot following ever in the country, and you want us to believe that the only way or means via which they can win an election must be through rigging???

    And as if such unreasonable claims or unjustified rants are not enough of bizarre absurdities, a Frederick Jayweh is “calling on Liberians to challenge the December 8, 2020, elections even far far far before the very elections begin“.

    The ACTUAL SPIRIT of this editorial is that the editor and his news outlet are convinced that the electoral winning power of the CDC within the i65 administrative divisions and 68 electoral districts from Wahkorlor in Grand Capemout to Towabli in GREAT Grand Gedeh, from Manawulu to Plebo and its surroundings, to ZORGOWEH and the rest of indomitable NIMBA and its surroundings, onward to the plains, hills, and shores of Marcgibi, Bong, GOKALA and the rest of Gbarpolu and the hilltops of Bomi and shooting to the Atlantic shores THE MIGHTY CDC IS INVINCIBLE!

  3. I do not only believe that voter education must precede referendum, but also agree that cleaning up and updating the Voter Roll are crucial in conducting a credible election. Mind you, this shouldn’t be about giving advantage to CPP, or COP; instead, at the heart of stability in a divided postwar country. Simply put, any politician who doesn’t want to get these things done correctly cannot be serious about caring for the people. After all, an indicator of compassion for our downtrodden is doing what right thus wouldn’t cause confusion and chaos.

    • Wow! What an ephipany, or deviation from die hard fanaticism? If anyone ever hypothesized that Mr. Bagdhad Moses could be this impartial in assessing situations in Liberia, I would have self-imolated before this day. It goes to say Gbayahforh, that we all may mean well for our country, but only that some of us are more nationalistic and persistent than others who may be motivated by whatever the trappings. Continue this version of even-handedness displayed here hopefully as a new you, and you will be on the right side of history. We will be monitoring.

    • It sounds good and worth noting that Sylvester G. Moses has come to the church and confessed his sins, the sins of his father and grandfather, the Late President Samuel K. Doe, and his days as Director of NSA and Liberia’s Ministry of National Security. The days and times when young Liberians disappeared and if found, they were pronounced dead and family members could not identify the bodies. Mr. Sylvester G. Moses, welcome to the church where trustworthy and well-meaning Liberians certainly care deeply for Liberia and her suffering and her abused people. Liberia under George Manneh Weah, has gone to highly unskilled and criminal-minded people. you and I know better. We are glad to have you if you certainly intend to be truthful.

      Howbeit and while well-meaning Liberians see the need to welcome you, private security advisor to George Manneh Weah and his Government, please advise Mr. Weah to publish his politically motivated and c controlled autopsy report. You need to advise George Manneh Weah to swiftly tell the minor children and family members of the Late Albert Peters, Gifty Lamah, George Fahnboto, Emmanuel B. Nyesuwa, Mathew Innis, George Kollie and three young Liberians employed at the St Moses Funeral Home and the young Journalist, murdered in Bong County, who murdered their fathers and mother. Liberians and the world anxiously want to know who murder the Auditors and why. Confession is certainly good for the soul!

      Mr. Sylvester G. Moses, welcome to the church where true and well-meaning Liberians deeply care for the security, stability and peaceful co-existence. .

      Whether you believe and appreciate it or not, the Republic of Liberia is left in the wrong hands.

      The CDC-led Government, is a total disgrace and national embarrassment!

      Please advise George Manneh Weah and his CDC-led Government to tell us who murder the Auditors..

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