NDC Criticises NEC for Mishandling the Senatorial By-election in Lofa; Stands with Unity Party and Calls for a Rerun
Statement of National Democratic Coalition(NDC) on the Mishandling of the June 28, 2020 Senatorial By-election in Lofa County by the National Elections Commission(NEC)
Thursday, July 7, 2022
The National Democratic Coalition (NDC) of the Republic of Liberia strongly condemns the glaring irregularities and the careless handling of the recent senatorial by-election in Lofa County. Greatly alarmed by government interference with the electoral process in Lofa, the NDC applauds and supports the decisions and steps taken by the Unity Party (UP) and stands in strong solidarity with the UP and the people of Lofa. Moreover, for the sake of peace and stability in Liberia, the NDC calls for renew registration of voters, a rerun of the recent Lofa election, and the restoration of the absolute majority for the final determination of legislative election results, in accordance with the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
History recounts that more than three hundred thousand (300,000) lives were lost in the 14-year civil war because of the rigging of elections by the Election Commission of Liberia (ECOM) in 1985. Hence, the significance of conducting free and fair elections for maintaining peace in post-war Liberia cannot be overemphasized. On this account, the NDC believes that public distrust in the ability of the current National Election Commission (NEC) to conduct free and fair elections in Liberia is an indication that the NEC and the government of President George Weah do not take seriously the lessons of the fourteen (14) year Liberian civil war. In this current case, it should be noted that the Lofa election raises serious concerns about the potential of eventual chaos in Liberia.
Number one, it is the mismanagement of the 1985 general and presidential elections that was used as justification for the attempted coup détat of November 12, 1985, and the making of the fourteen-year civil war (1989 to 2003). So, the rigging of electoral processes, the manufacturing and importation of artificial votes, the wrong calculation of votes, other obvious irregularities, and clear disrespect for the choice and decision of voters should not be ignored by opposition political parties, the international community, and the Liberian people.
Number two, the wasting of public resources on repeated and unnecessary elections, as in the case of Lofa County, are developments that should not be overlooked by opposition political parties, the international community, and the Liberian people. Underscored by the application of selective justice, these developments have led to the reorganization of elections only to increase the number of legislators who will support the corrupt activities of the Weah CDC government.
Number three, the pronouncement by the NEC that the Election Commission website was hacked in the period of vote counting calls into question the credibility of the election results. This admission by NEC, therefore, constitutes sufficient grounds for dismissing the June 28 senatorial by-election results as fraudulent and suggests that a total rerun of the recent Lofa county election is the best democratic solution under the circumstances.
And number four, the Lofa situation cannot be taken lightly, because it demonstrates the intention of the George Weah government to rig the 2023 electoral process and create confusion in post war Liberia.
Accordingly, the confusion coming out of the recent election in Lofa County should serve as a warning to every opposition political party in Liberia, that the George Weah government intends to steal the 2023 presidential and legislative elections. Undoubtedly, this may cause big commotion and prolong the suffering of the poor people of Liberia.
Hence, in view of the crucial nature of elections for maintaining peace in Liberia and the west Africa sub-region, the NDC calls on ECOWAS and the international community to compel the George Weah government to carryout renew and clean voters’ registration in Liberia and also rerun the June 28, 2022 senatorial election in Lofa County. In addition, the NDC calls on the George Weah Government to restore the constitutionally guaranteed absolute majority requirement for selecting public officials. The removal of the absolute majority determinant in legislative elections has severely dislodged the democratic and constitutional rights of the Liberian people to select unquestionable choices in elections.
As clearly laid down in Chapter 8, Article 83 b of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, “All elections of public officers shall be determined by an absolute majority of the votes cast. If no candidate obtains an absolute majority in the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted on the second Tuesday following. The two candidates who received the greatest numbers of votes on the first ballot shall be designated to participate in the runoff election”.
The NDC is concerned that the recent developments in Lofa County are the conditions that usually tempt citizens to turn to post election violence. In that regard, any post war government that continuously violates the rights of the people of a region that participated in brutal war is a government that inflames chaos, incites political violence, promotes disorder, encourages unrests, and ferments ethno-nationalism. For these reasons, the confusion arising from the June 28, 2022 by-election in Lofa County should not be overlooked by the political class in Liberia and the international community.
That said, the NDC advises that it is important for political parties to pay particular attention to the details of their duties and responsibilities during elections and help to bring out the true picture of election results for themselves and the Liberian public. In matters of principle, we in the NDC are more concerned about honesty in the counting of ballots and the effective performance of elected officials than we are about the individuals that win or lose elections; for the rights and interests of the Liberian people are the guide to our decisions and actions.
And the Struggle Continues!
Alaric K. Tokpa Nyaquoi K. Kargbo
National Chairman, NDC Political Leader, NDC
Approved: Nyaquoi K. Kargbo