9 August 2017

Liberia: Complaints Filed Against Fornati Koffa to NEC

Though the National Elections Commission (NEC) accredited and qualified Cllr. Fornati Koffa to contest the legislative seat in District #2, Grand Kru County, all seems not to be going well for him as he faces stern opposition from a concerned citizen of the county.

Jerry T. Donyen, former Development Superintendent (2006-2014), Buah Statutory District in Grand Kru, has filed complaints to the Commission, seeking its intervention in disqualifying Cllr. Koffa for alleged violations of the Code of Conduct (CoC).

In an August 7, 2017 letter addressed to NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, Mr. Donyen says "I write to object to the acceptance and certification of Jonathan Fornati Koffa to contest as Representative candidate of District #2, Grand Kru County in the ensuing 2017 presidential and general elections." Donyen's objection of Cllr. Koffa's candidacy, he says, is based on the reason that his application and subsequent acceptance by the NEC to participate in the election is a gross violation of 5.2(a) of the CoC.

He contends that the legislative candidate did not comply with the tenets of the CoC, as he did not resign his post as Minister of State Without Portfolio at least two years prior to October 10, 2017, the day of elections in Liberia.

Then an official of government in the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Cllr. Koffa resigned some part of last month, filed his papers as required by NEC and was subsequently accepted and certificated without referencing the CoC.

But Mr. Donyen is not taking the issue lightly and wants the NEC take action against (disqualify) Mr. Koffa for blatantly violating the law. "I am a registered voter in District #2, Grand Kru County and as a law-abiding citizen, I cannot sit by to see the law being grossly violated with impunity," he insists in his letter to the Chair of NEC.

The concerned complainant craves speedy investigation into the matter, which is reportedly not unique to Cllr. Koffa. While his complaint may be deemed too far behind NEC's stipulated time for inquiries against aspirants, he said his action is tailored on legal advices.

It is the second attempt he is making to represent the people of District #2, as he lost to current Representative Nimene Bartekwa in 2011. Some officials of government contesting legislative seats in different districts across the country find themselves in similar situation as they also did not resign their posts but accredited and certificated by the NEC.

Quiet differently from Cllr. Koffa's situation, Representative Edwin Snowe is facing the Board of Commissioners of the NEC where he took appeal after he was denied by a hearing officer of NEC on the basis of "Domicile" complaint filed against him by a citizen of Bomi County.

A sitting Representative of District #6, Montserrado County, he is running for office in the county to the discontentment of some citizens who think his action is a violation of the Liberian Constitution.

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