Liberia: Vru Stirs Protest

24 September 2020

Four opposition parties under the banner Collaborating Political Parties or CPP, poised to become the main challenger of President George Manneh Weah in 2023, head to the Supreme Court of Liberia today, Friday, 25 September to file a prohibition against the National Elections Commission, calling for an immediate halt and cancellation of the ongoing Voter Roll Update Exercises until issues bordering on credibility of midterm senatorial elections on December 8th are addressed fully.

Constituent parties of the CPP, including the former ruling Unity Party, the Alternative National Congress, Liberty Party and the All Liberian Party are nervous about widespread reports of voters trucking by politicians and multiple registrations at centers across the country that could lead to fraud on polling day.

The parties had earlier written a formal complaint to the NEC, outlining several missteps in the ongoing exercise.

"Therefore, we seize this moment to inform all of our people across Liberia and abroad that the actions of the NEC have left us with no other alternative than to commence legal and sustained political actions to correct all the missteps we raised in our communications of September 10th and 18th as follow: On Friday of this week, our lawyers will file a Petition for the Writ of Prohibition before the Supreme Court, calling for an immediate halt and cancellation of the ongoing Voter Roll Update Exercises until these issues which border on the credibility of the elections are fully addressed", CPP chairman Mr. Alexander Cummings announced during the week.

At least two aspirants - incumbent Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe and ex-speaker Alex Tyler from Bomi County in Western Liberia had been linked to trucking people from various localities in the country and from neighboring Sierra Leone to register and vote, but Rep. Snowe has denied.

However, supporters of Snowe and Tyler clashed recently in Tubmanburg, Bomi County in a face-to- face battle, using machetes and other weapons, bringing the provisional city to a standstill momentarily.

The violence started when the government-operated National Transit Authority buses arrived in Tubmanburg with group of people in their youthful ages onboard, believed to be supporters of Ex-speaker Tyler to participate in the ongoing voters' registration by the National Elections Commission. Riot officers of the Liberia National Police made two arrests from the incident.

Here in Monrovia, supporters of ruling Coalition for Democratic Change candidate Representative Thomas Fallah and opposition Senator Abraham Darius Dillon have been engaged in stone battle at every rally, indicating early signs of what to expect in the poll.

News coming from vote-rich Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties in the southeast speaks of multiple registration and voter's cards stuffing, leading the National Elections Commission to recall several electoral magistrates to Monrovia for interrogation.

The CPP has vowed to conduct comprehensive nationwide awareness to inform Liberians about impending danger the CDC-led government and its election commissioners pose to the coming elections.

It has called on its partisans, supporters and well-wishers to assemble today at the headquarters of the Alternative National Congress to parade to the Supreme Court to file a Writ of Prohibition against the entire electoral until these missteps are corrected.

The NEC has warned those aspirants allegedly involved in trucking voters to desist immediately, as the practice contravenes the electoral law of Liberia.

NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah said the Commission is concerned about reports of "trucking" of citizens by some aspirants.

"We note that trucking is prohibited under Chapter 10.1(a) of the New Elections Law and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to six months", Madam Lansanah said in a recent press conference held at the NEC headquarters between 9th and 10th Streets in Sinkor, Monrovia.

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