CPP’s ardent political icons in the persons of Hon. Cummings (ANC); VP. Boakai (UP); Hon. Urey (ALP) and Sen. Karnga-Lawrence (LP) are staunch political leaders. These iconic minds can symbolically be called Liberia’s “Mount Kilimanjaro” who is a force to appraise with ill-respective of their affirmational proclamation to be held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, for a political showdown and a call to electioneering justice for all and sundry.
Ghost names and names of dead Liberians had been the sole pathway to winning scores of elections’ victories by incumbents’ in Liberia since 1847. But the question that remains on the chops of thousands and thousands of CPP’s die-hards, sympathizers, and well-wishers is: “Can CPP be triumphant over the Voters’ Roll-Cleaning War?”
When taken a thorough panorama view around some of the systemic voters’ frauds in Liberia at a scale of an unproportionable consequence that astounds the democratic lawyers of Liberia’s fragile foundation after its independence proclamation on July 26, 1847, one can only conclude that perpetual election frauds are the first cousin to Liberia’s systemic corruption with no remedy insight due to the incumbent huge advantage.
The culmination of a voters’ roll will be annihilated to the pivotal incumbent in many ways. First, there will be no extra ghost names to put the incumbent over the finished lines. Secondly, it will amount to outright defeat for the incumbent’s party, Third, it is frustrating to lose state power through a ballot box that can easily be controlled by a ruling incumbent by any iota of imagination. The beauty of most African elections is when the voters’ rolls are truly pregnant with ghost names, that includes the names of dead people, foreigners, and/or visitors alike.
The first election hoodwinking in Liberia took place in 1927 between Charles D. B. King of the True Whig Party and Thomas J. Faulkner, of the People’s Party. The total registered voters were 15, 000 Liberians. After all the votes were counted, King had a total of 243, 000 extra votes while Faulkner had 9,000 votes. Faulkner cried foul immediately, and asked, “where did the extra votes come from? ” is still a mystery today as the then incumbent King held onto power.
In 1985 the late Doe won 50.9% of the total votes. According to sources, Doe election commissioners packed the voters’ roll with ghost names overnight. Ballots were exported from Sinoe County according to several dependable antecedents familiar with the 1985 election that 44-ballot boxes were refilled in a helicopter more than twenty-five-times before reaching Monrovia at dawn. 80% of Grand Gedian names were drafted in Tuazon, and their votes were cast on their behalf at the executive mansion simply for Doe to remain in power which did not do him any good in the end.
Charles Taylor won 75.3% of the total votes under the noses of 16-political parties, there were popular outcries of foul play, yet Taylor was declared president. In 2005 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won a run-off election against George Weah who had won the first round earlier by 28.3%. and Ellen won 59% of the total votes in the second round amidst ghost names on voters’ roll which compelled George Weah to cry foul and quickly ran to Nigeria but was told to shut up and wait for Ellen’s full term to end which he did with political homage. When Ellen’s 12-years ended after winning the 2011 election with 90.7% of the votes, this time the baton was passed onto George Weah as president. Can the same thing be in the case of the 2023 presidential election involving the CPP and the beginning of President 2nd term?
Notably, the incumbent’s political advantages are vast. He has full political power over the election commissioners. He can hire and fire any commissioner at will. He holds the purse to their daily survival. It is difficult for an incumbent to lose an election easily in Liberia. Demonstration against voters’ cleanup exercise is good, but it does not yield its desired goals of a true cleaning up exercise from time immemorial.
Secondly, most Liberians are regular hustlers who are not familiar with a weeklong demonstration. Many of them had to go on the hustle for food to keep their families on the move daily. Liberians are not too exposed to the dynamics of a sustained demonstration that would bring the government to its knees.
The answer to voters’ cleanup roll is simply for the Liberian National Election Commission to be removed from the executive and placed under the Legislatures that will create laws by which commissioners are voted into office thus neutralizing the power of the executive branch over the commission.