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NEC warned against election rigging

Liberia’s former Finance Minister Milton Nathaniel Barnes has warned the National Elections Commission against rigging the 14 November 2023 presidential run-off between incumbent President George Manneh Weah and opposition Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

Amb. Barnes warned National Elections Commission (NEC) chairperson Davidetta Brown-Lansanah that if the election is handled in a manner that resembles the 1926 or 1985 elections, she “will seriously regret it.”

“Madam National Elections Chairman, if these elections are handled in a manner that resembles the 1926 or 1985 elections, you will seriously regret it,” the former Liberian Ambassador to the United States said ahead of the run-off.

The Liberian 1927 election that Amb. Barnes has referenced is recorded as the most rigged election ever, while many observers reported that the 1985 election was stolen by slain President Samuel Kanyon Doe.

Amb. Barnes said he knows that Madam Brown-Lansanah is a credible and professional person, adding that he expects that she will fulfill her obligation to this nation. 

He reminded her that the Liberian people look up to Madam Brown-Lansanah to act, without fear or favor, and to conduct the election with the utmost credibility.

“Only one side can win in these elections; and, the Liberian people expect that the process will be free, fair, transparent, and credible if they are to accept the results,” he continued.

He implored the Liberian people to go to the polls peacefully, saying he believed that the results reflected on the tally sheets signed and stamped at the polling place would not be different from the results announced by the NEC Board of Commissioners.

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He noted that the crux of the election’s credibility is in the effective handling of the polls, stating that he expects that the NEC workers, voter verifiers, and ballot issuers, among others, will stick to the rules as

meticulously as possible. 

“If there is an opportunity for either side to gain an unfair upper hand during the process aided by NEC workers and/or officials, the situation will create serious chaos which would be very, very unfortunate,” Amb. Barnes warned the commission.

The Liberian diplomat said he firmly believes that, if the elections are handled in a very free, fair, transparent, and credible manner, nobody will make noise. 

Additionally, he said if the NEC closely adheres to the election laws, guidelines, and regulations, as is expected, the outcome will be free, fair, transparent, and credible.

Amb. Barnes suggested that the Liberian people would sleep in peace and accept a result that is consistent with the exact outcome of what transpired at every polling place throughout the country. 

“We cannot be more grateful to the international community and our friends for their continued support for the strengthening of our fledgling democracy,” said Amb. Barnes.

After about twenty years of sustained peace, Amb. Barnes said Liberia cannot afford to slip off track.

“Fellow Liberians, there is nothing that anyone of us can lose if the elections are conducted in keeping with the law,” he pleaded. 

He admonished the two contending political parties contesting the run-off election to man the polls with the best poll watchers they can lay their hands on. 

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  1. Statements like “slip off track” could be intensive if the control button was not mishandled by dirty escalated patriotism. Unleashed feelings and greed for wealth not justly acquired could be the source of brutal violence. Those opportunists who have no sides in mind prior to ballot casting defray the hidden degree of voters rights to vote and not to vote. They also offer materials in exchange for votes and words for support or promised positions when a lead is foreseen. The constitutionality of democracy is visible in the republic with focus on action. Liberia’s republic is in a transformation process after a civil war. However, when choice of only one is made by the people under majority rule, as in this runoff, certainty rest on the people. Not individual. Not few. Not (NEC). Whether for good or worst, chaos apply to tyranny and most tyrants succumb to compel their subjects with, for example, “regret it” threats to instill fear. Our institutions will no longer be destroyed by patriotic lust. No matter who wins this election, it is the level of the Presidency that contains the executive branch put forth by our founders. There is a limit to a presidential care that cannot be overstated or overpowered. Finally, only the people can set that level.

  2. How was the 1926 election conducted? What part of the 1985 election did you help propagate? One only warns rigging if evidence of stealing in suspected.

  3. With few days left, peace will prevail and NEC as seen is professional without fear to give us the actual. We will protect all efforts as we await the factual count of the runoff in the eyes of the international.

  4. If this figure who served under a dictatorship has some reservations or has seen or heard something that maks his utterance, then come out and tell the public. We will not allow this NEC chair to be shattered by individuals who lust the performance of a plight in process and pretend to recognize the upheaval of past election crisis to ignite revolt. The count is not as was in the midst of the civil war when those rebels after the coup canvasses were not fully covered. The entire 15 countries have been campaigned. No Individual as such has the power to give precautionary warning without activities in view. If you had the chance to help the process and did not, what can you advise ? God does not like concupiscence.

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