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CCI wants Liberia’s electoral body chief to resign

Liberia’s NEC boss Jerome Korkoyah

PRESS RELEASE

Fellow Liberians, Campaigners for Change International, a Liberian human rights and youth development organization in Liberia has again observed with great dismay the inconsistencies of the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome Kokoya that continue to be displayed in the announcement of the 2017 general and presidential elections results.

As an institution, we believe that such action on the part of the NEC boss could plunge our country into chaos and could lead to the destruction of lives and properties.

Fellow Liberians, as you may be aware, the NEC boss verbally announced 240, 750 votes for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and 160, 975 votes for the ruling Unity Party (UP) during the preliminary announcement of results for the second time.

REGRETTABLY, the results he verbally announced (given by his own mouth) is completely different from what has been posted on the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) website.

As you can see, the votes of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) have been drastically manipulated and reduced from 240,750 that he announced verbally to 204,750 that is posted on NEC’s website. But, he maintained the initial figure he verbally announced for the ruling Unity Party on the website.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, with such discrepancies that have started to show up, coupled with the head of NEC boss initial association with the Unity Party (he contested on UP ticket in 2011 and lost), we are demanding Cllr. Kokoyah to step down and give peace a change.

We believe that Cllr. Kokoyah has proven to be grossly incompetent for the job and his unprofessional behavior should not lead us to another bloodbath. One of the major reasons for conflict in Africa is electoral malpractices or rigging of elections for the ruling party. The rigging of the elections in 1985 eventually landed us into a bloody civil war in 1989, because those who felt cheated and their supporters took arms and revenged.

On October 12, 2017, we condemned Chairman Kokoyah for his deliberate refusal not to announce the results of the other candidates and for refusing to take questions from the media after he announced the first preliminary results of the election. He earlier on announced the results of only the top three presidential candidates but refused to announce the results of the other candidates, something we felt was unnecessary and a violation of the people’s rights to information.

Later, he realized his mistakes and ordered his fellow commissioners to announce the results for all the participating candidates in the elections. This is a clear indication that our institution stands for peace, justice, and tranquility.

Finally, we call on all Liberians to join us in demanding the immediate resignation of the NEC boss. His actions could lead Liberia in the wrong direction. The deliberate manipulation of election results is a recipe for chaos and war and must be condemned by all Liberians.

Liberians want peace. As an institution, we detest any form of electoral manipulation, violence, and call on Cllr. Kokoyah to immediately place the people’s votes back on NEC’s website for the international community to see what is going on in Liberia now. Though he claimed to have resigned from the Unity Party after his severe defeat for a legislative seat in 2011, his manipulation of the election results is clear indications that he still has the DNA of the Unity Party in him. It does not make sense anywhere to see a partisan of a ruling party being placed as head of an electoral body and expect something good to happen.

We call on the African Union, ECOWAS, EU, and our fraternal ally, the United States of America to quickly intervene to prevent another blood batch in Liberia.

The Campaigners for Change International will on tomorrow begin consolidating with its international and local partners to ensure that peace and justice prevail in Liberia. We will ensure that the votes of the people are respected and protected. Liberians are tired of war and chaos. Those who do not respect the rights of the people and their votes will be defeated. It is a promise!

Liberia is the only country we cannot be deported from. Therefore, we must respect and protect the votes of the people. They have spoken and no one has the right to change any results.

Issued on this 13th day of October, AD 2017 in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

Signed:

Vandalark Patricks
National Director
Campaigners for Change International

CC: Hafizs Sannor
CC: Amb David Germu
CC: Jeremiah Cephas
CC: Tamia Patience S. Koteah

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