16 October 2017

Liberia: Brumskine Cries Foul, Wants Election Rerun

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party

The Opposition Liberty Party (LP) is demanding that the just ended election be rerun claiming that massive fraud and irregularities are to blame for preliminary results indicating that the LP performed poorly.

With 95.6 percent of the polling stations already counted, the LP standard bearer, Charles Walker Brumskine, has obtained a total vote count of 144, 353, representing 9.8 percent.

This result puts the LP flag bearer far behind a potential runoff between George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and governing Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.

As of today, the CDC has obtained 572,374 votes totaling 39.0 percent, followed by the UP with 427, 544 votes representing 29.1 percent, far outdistancing the LP's 9.8 percent.

Brumskine said that the elections were faced with "serious gross irregularities and fraud that undercut the integrity of the process as well as denying voters their constitutional rights to vote."

He added: "The preliminary results released by authorities of the National Elections Commissions (NEC) are not valid, because we at the LP have evidence to prove our case."

Brumskine said that their evidences range from the stuffing of ballot boxes with marked ballot papers for another party than the LP in Nimba County by a NEC presiding officer; the late opening of polls at some centers; and the omission of names and photographs from the voters' roll.

"So many Liberians were deprived of their constitutional right to vote. We will, therefore, be requesting a re-run of the elections. The October 10 elections did not pass the minimum standards required for free, fair and transparent elections and Liberia deserves a valid, transparent election," Brumskine alleged.

Henry Flomo, NEC communications director, has meanwhile refuted the LP's claimed that the October 10 election was marred by fraud.

"Although the NEC has not received any complaint from the LP, but as far I am concerned, the just ended election was free, fair and transparent," he said.

Meanwhile, international and local observers admitted that there were some challenges and irregularities during the process.

Samantha Smoot, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Mission Director, said the mission observed that the transfer of materials from voting precincts to magistrate offices was not done according to procedures or in a secure manner in some locations.

Madam Smoot added: "In some places, materials were taken and stored at magistrate warehouses overnight, and then intake processes were begun at the tallying centers on the morning of October 11."

In other cases, she said "materials were transferred to the magistrate offices in the morning. The chain of custody for material between voting precincts and magistrate offices was often not monitored by observers and party agents."

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