19 October 2017

Liberia: National Elections Commission Needs to Do Soul Searching

Photo: Boakai Fofana/AllAfrica
The headquarters of Liberia's National Elections Commission

NOW THAT IT IS OFFICIAL that the nation is heading to a runoff election between Vice President Joseph Boakai's Unity Party (UP) and Senator George Weah's Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), one thing that we think the Commission needs to do now is soul searching.

THE GOOD OLD BOOK, the Holy Bible in Romans Chapter 3 verse 23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Indeed, the holy book is right. Everyone definitely has sinned and does sin daily. But when one sins and comes to the realization that one has indeed sinned, one needs to do soul searching in order to be forgiven by the Almighty. However, it is not just enough for one to do a lip service that one has repented of those sins that were committed known or unknowingly, willing or unwillingly, conscientious or unconscientiously and goes back to repeat the same things.

THIS IS THE CASE WITH the Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya-led National Elections Commission, which by all indications scored poorly in the handling of the October 10th Presidential and Legislative Elections.

NEC HAS COME UNDER sharp criticisms from all sectors of the Liberian society, including the political class and voters for its conduct of the Tuesday, October 10 polls.

AT LEAST THREE OF THE major political parties, including the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, All Liberian Party of Mr. Benoni Wilfred Urey and Alternative National Congress of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, have all openly criticized the Commission.

ALL OF THEM ARE SAYING that they have pieces of evidence which can substantially validate their claims of the elections being marred by flaw, fraud and lack of transparency. In addition to these allegations from these parties, which contested in the election for the nation's highest office, hundreds of Liberians have been calling on various radio talk-shows and posting on their social media platforms, venting their angers and frustrations on the Commission. The common complaint is that thousands of Liberians were denied their franchise and they didn't vote. The complaints are just, too many and something needs to be done in order to save face.

WE THINK IT IS NOT LATE for the Commission to redeem itself in the runoff election, which is just under three weeks away from the November 7th date announced by Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, Thursday, October 19, 2017, at the final announcement of the two candidates, who are set to go into the runoff.

OVER TWO MILLION LIBERIANS went to the polls being fully informed by the Commission that everything was in place for the conduct of a free, fair, transparent and peaceful election.

THE ELECTION, though being very largely peaceful, wasn't fair.

HOWEVER, WE THINK the men and women at the Commission can now save face and redeem themselves from all the criticisms that it has received in the last couple of days. By doing this, we think, the Commission will be doing its part to build a vibrant democracy that Liberia is striving to sustain.


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