Opinion

Liberia: Supreme Court to decide election saga. The world is watching!

L/R: Justices Youh and Jan’eh, chief Korkpor, and Justices Wolokollie and Banks

Left, Jerome Korkoryah, the NEC’s troublemaker chairman accused by Dr. Togba Nah  Tipoteh, right, as a US citizen, wants to damage Liberia’s political transition by following the orders of the troublemaker in chief, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  Now, Liberians can ask for the chairman’s citizenship. Let him show his Green Card to prove he is not an American.

MY TURN:  Neither expediency or the hurry-hurry convenience/demand to please President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s desire to retire by the constitutionally mandated 3rd Monday (January 18, 2018) to transfer power to another elected president are a good substitute to thwart and undermine the constitution, the rule of law and the due process in the wake of allegations of massive fraud and vote-rigging carried out by the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia in the October 10 elections.

Thus, we commend the leader of the Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine in his lawsuit, later enjoined/supported by other political parties and their leaders: ANC’s Alex Cummings, Benoni Urey of ALP and Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the ruling Unity Party now before the Supreme Court of Liberia.

It is time Liberia abandons its historic nature of holding fraudulent and rigged elections going back to 1929, 1985, the he-killed-my-pa, he-killed-my-ma but-I-will-vote-for-him 1977 elections, and both the 2005 and 2011 elections Weah is alleging that he won but were stolen from him by the NEC and given to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

In the 1929 elections when natives were excluded from voting that pitted Americo-Liberians/ Congua Charles Dunbar Burgess King against Mr. Faulkner, there were only 15,000 registered Congua-only voters but the results announced gave Mr. King 234,000 votes out of 15,000 registered voters which are recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

It is disappointing and disingenuous of CDC’s leader George Weah who said he was robbed of his victories in 2005 and 2011 to not join the Brumskine-led fraud case against the NEC.

Senator Weah and Vice President Boakai, the two runner-up

It is worth noting that CDC also said it got 180 votes at the GW Gibson school voting precinct in Monrovia on October 10, but the NEC credited CDC with just 10 votes at the NEC Tally Headquarters at SKD Stadium and that it took the intervention of NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoryah to “correct the error” and credited CDC with the 180 votes. That is what this fraud case before the Supreme Court of Liberia is all about.

Indeed, why in the world did the NEC pick a former communist Russia satellite state, Slovenia to print the ballots when those former Russian Federation republics are notorious for holding fraudulent elections? Then the NEC allowed the ballots do not bear serial numbers, leaving room for fraud and no way to account for ballots which are also now at the center of the case before the Supreme Court.

The NEC said 550 is the maximum number of ballots and no more than 550 voters assigned to each of the voting precincts throughout the country but CDC received, as Mr. Brumskine is alleging, 1,109 votes out of supposedly 550 votes. This is a playbook from the 1929 Liberian elections. The Justices have their work cut out for them: the elections were massively rigged, not to even talk about the buried ballots unearthed in Grand Gedeh County.

Also, the NEC must answer to how its computers, printers, cameras, voter registration forms and other election-related materials left its headquarters to end up in the home of Amos Seibo who at the time was an aide in the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the title of, appropriately, “Presidential Deliverables? Mr. Seibo was arrested by Police as he and his collaborators had turned his house into a virtual NEC Printing Press, busy printing illegal voters’ registration cards that later found their way into the hands of voters.

Now, to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who seems to be concerned more about the timeliness of the elections process than the legal process to expose and correct the anomalies of fraud and vote-rigging by her government-supervised NEC, and wants to retire on January 18, 2018, well, she can retire tomorrow and VP Boakai becomes President even before January.

Although George Weah was the world best soccer player, here is why he needs to be very careful in his political marriage with the political Maradona, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.   She used Charles Taylor to achieve her mission and see where she made Taylor be today.

And if the mess she has created at the NEC is not resolved before January 18, the constitution provides the chain of leadership. We want free, fair and transparent elections while she is concerned about her “retirement.”

And as Senator George Weah said–whether his statement was a threat, intimidation or genuinely to uphold the constitution,–the Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, indeed “the peace of the nation rests in your hands” as you judiciously look into this very important case of alleged massive fraud and vote-rigging carried out by the National Elections Commission of Liberia.

Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine: “We had a very good case and we are waiting till Monday for the ruling.”

Money and time are not as important as getting it right. We have traveled down this ugly and deadly road of holding fraudulent election many times in our history.

We are tired. And if so, then throw out the results and order new elections as the Kenya Supreme Court did in that country’s recent elections. Liberia, the Mano River Union, ECOWAS, the African Union, European Union, the United Nations and our chief ally, the United States of America are all watching.

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Jerry Wehtee Wion

Jerry Wehtee Wion is a veteran Liberian journalist and political commentator. His work experience includes serving as a former radio announcer and sports journalist for the ELWA radio in Liberia, press commentator to the Liberian presidency (1980- 1981), and as a staffer with the Associated Press in New York. He is currently based in Washington, DC and runs an informative call-in Liberian news hotline known as LANSNews.

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