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GeneralLiberia news

Chief Imam warns against electoral fraud 

By Lincoln G. Peters

Liberia’s Chief Imam Ali Krayee has warned the National Elections Commission (NEC) against elections fraud, reminding the electoral house that fraudulent elections in 1985 led to 250, 000 deaths and dragged the country backward.

Imam Krayee warned the NEC to be mindful that election fraud in 1985 produced the hell that Liberia endured for 14 years.

His warning to the NEC came in his Ramadan message at the Benson Street Mosque in Monrovia when Muslims climaxed a month-long fasting Friday, 21 April 2023.

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The Liberian Chief Imam noted that the country is at a crossroads of making a critical decision for its democracy during the upcoming 10 October 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

He challenged the commission to be more mindful of free, fair, and transparent elections because it is only through this that Liberia’s peace can be secured.

“We want to tell members of the National Elections Commission that the country is watching, the international community is watching as well,” he said.

Krayee continued that if the 2020 midterm Special Senatorial Election is anything to go by, then Liberians have many reasons to worry. 

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“The manner in which some aspects of the results of the 2020 Senatorial Election were handled by NEC and the Judiciary if that is the way the 2023 elections will be handled, then I say woe unto Liberia,” the Chief Imam said.

“So we pray that Allah will guide the men and women of the National Elections Commission and all elections workers across the country so that they will put their country first and their personal interest last and do what is necessary for the holding of peaceful and transparent elections in the country,” he stressed.

Further, Imam Krayee urged the NEC officials to remember that if they create any hell in this country, they will not escape the hell they help to create.

He added that if it doesn’t affect them now, it will affect their children because Liberia has bled for too long and this nation can not endure another round of chaos. 

“National Elections Commission, we must warn you strongly that these elections have to be free, fair, and transparent,” he continued.

Speaking of the BVR process, he said it must be carried out in a manner that will be satisfactory to all the participants in these elections.

He added that after all when elections are held, the collation of the results is very important.

As such, he urged that the process must be transparent so that there will be no need for any serious court action.

Meanwhile, Imam Krayee has called on the NEC and political parties to watch out for fake polling centers that do not exist but produce results. 

“We want political parties to be vigilant when it comes to these fake polling centers,” he pointed out.

He called on the NEC to warn its staff not to create fake polling centers because it is a recipe for chaos.

In another development, Imam Krayee said some of the utterances from some members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have been very worrisome.

He urged officers of the AFL to be cognizant of their constitutional responsibility, be on the side of the people, and be the defenders of Liberia’s democracy. 

Imam Krayee admonished the AFL that it cannot force people to accept fraud. 

He said it was not possible in 1985, and it will not be possible today.

Krayee urged the army to perform to the expectations of the people in keeping with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

“We have to go forward, and for that to happen, we have to elect the right kind of leadership. When you vote, use conscience, not your tribe,” Imam Krayee cautioned Liberians.

“Vote what is right for Liberia. Vote to elect competent leaders. Vote to ensure a progressive leadership in Liberia,” he told the congregation.

On Monday, 18 April 2023, the NEC released preliminary results from the just-ended Phase One of the BVR exercise conducted in six counties, indicating that over 1.4 million people had so far registered to vote in the scheduled October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

Phase two of the BVR exercise in the remaining 9 counties, Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland Counties was scheduled to kick off on 21 April 2023.

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