Several opposition political parties here have come to the defense of the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, who battling claims of holding an American Citizenship and therefore, facing increasing calls to resign his post.
Political parties, including the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC, Union of Liberians Democrat (ULD); Victory for Change (VC), Change for Democratic Action (CDA), and the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) among others, on Monday, April 17, held a joint press conference in Monrovia, saying the call is untimely and only intended to stall the pending electioneering process.
A joint press statement read by the Coalition for Democratic Change Vice Chairman for Operations, Mulbah Morlu states, “The following signatories authorizing the release of this statement, being political parties sanctioned by their respective leaderships, herewith express an undaunted resolution to remaining viable partners in fostering the sustainable implementation of the 2017 Representatives and Presidential elections timetable, which is being conducted under the Chairmanship of Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya; in cognizance of the historic essence of the ongoing electoral mechanism, which would ascertain the thrive of sustainable democratic governance through the smooth transfer of power from one democratic leadership to the next; acknowledging the efforts of the current administration of the National Elections Commission and its international partners in the pursuit of this constitutional duty, though additional efforts would be expected in strengthening the commission’s technical, logistical and personnel infrastructure.”
The statement further says the parties take into account the recognizable progress of the current elections timetable under the Jerome Korkoya-chaired Commission, which has already presided over several crucial steps that graduated these efforts to a crucial half-way mechanism.
Morlu explains that the following political parties, being seized of the obligation to continually support and advocate for a peaceful and credible conduct of the 2017 elections,henceforth interpret calls for the resignation of the current NEC Chairman as “untimely, counterproductive, and ill-advised.”
He notes that the parties rise to denounce such calls as detrimental to the democratic stability of Liberia, since it could prove disruptive of the implementation of timeline of the Commission, owing to the huge void that would be left to fill just few months to elections.
“While we respect the fundamental rights of those making the case, we are however not only concerned about the demands for provable facts under the circumstances, but believe the objective of the campaigners is being undermined by the Korkoya-led Commission’s successful conduct of several past elections, including the 2014 Senatorial and other by-elections. Hence, in our opinion, arguing against the legitimacy of Cllr. Jerome Korkoya as Chairman of the Commission is tantamount to an attempting de-legitimization of fifteen Senators and several Lawmakers elected under his gavel as Chairman,” the statement resisted.
The parties further term calls for Chairman Korkoya’s resignation as “misguided approach” that amplifies the collective endorsement of their communiqué duly authorized with a view to sustaining the democracy and preventing its stumble into chaos, waiting to be exploited by anti-peace zealots. Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya has persistently maintained that he is a Liberian, challenging those accusing him of holding dual citizenships to come up evidence.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne