Politics News

Things fall apart

Things are gradually falling apart here just days to the November 7, 2017 Presidential run-off between the ruling Unity Party or UP and the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC, as the former joined opposition parties calling for a re-run of the October 10 polls. But diplomatic community raises concern.

UP officials announced here Sunday October 29, that the party was affirming its solidarity with opposition Liberty Party and the All Liberian Party, both of which have cited fraud and irregularities during the October 10 polls and are calling for a re-run of the polls.

The party’s chairman Wilmot Paye made several claims among which he accuses the NEC and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of denying Liberians their rightful votes.

“The National Elections Commission cannot conduct any free, fair and transparent presidential election runoff in the wake of increasing and disturbing reports of alleged massive fraud,” UP’s Chairman Paye said in a prepared text read out to journalists here Sunday October 29.
The ruling UP, which came second in the poll with 29 %, joined the call for the re-run of the election, but has not been clear as to whether it is the entire election or just the presidential.

“Few days ago, our respective Political Parties, in unequivocal terms, drew the attention of Liberians and the World to several issues of anomalies about the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections. These anomalies included widespread and systematic fraud, incompetence, inefficiencies and deliberate actions and/or inactions on the part of the National Elections Commission (NEC) that prevented thousands of Liberians from voting in the just-ended polls. Now frustrated and angered, many of those disenfranchised have vowed not to vote in any scheduled presidential election runoff. We are appalled by this mistreatment of our people and grievous offense against our nation.

Today, we reaffirm our stated solidarity with the Liberty Party and all other political parties and candidates that feel offended and have strong reasons to believe that the October 10, 2017 polls were characterized by massive systematic irregularities and fraud.

In furtherance of this solidarity, and also considering the overwhelming evidence of fraud that continues to emerge, our respective Political Parties have resolved to pursue this matter to a logical legal conclusion as quickly as permissible under Liberian Law. We will leave no stones unturned in our endeavors. This will safeguard our Peace and reaffirm the purpose of our Nation,” Paye said in his statement.

Both local and international observers described the October 10 polls as being peaceful, but cited few irregularities which they said could be improved upon in subsequent elections.

Sources told this paper on Sunday that members of the diplomatic community are worried over insightful statement coming from the chairman of the ruling party.

The source who spoke to this paper on Sunday on condition of anonymity said the United Nations; African Union and ECOWAS officials find the UP statement disturbing and are contemplating on issuing a joint statement today (Monday October 30.)

Our source said the diplomatic officials made contact with both Vice President Joseph Boakai and Mr. Paye. But Boakai said he was not aware of the statement, while Mr. Paye, our source continues, said his statement was taken out of context.

This paper also gathered that Justice Ministry officials had also made contact with Mr. Paye requesting clarity on his statement which has been view as insightful ahead of the run-off.

By Othello B. Garblah