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UP resorts to legal battle: Rejects Lofa election result

Rejects Lofa election result

By Lincoln G. Peters

Former ruling Unity Party (UP) has rejected the result of the Lofa County senatorial by-election days after the National Elections Commission (NEC) declared government-backed candidate Cllr. Joseph K. Jallah as winner.

At a press conference Tuesday, 5 July 2022 in Monrovia, UP said its legal team will be communicating with the NEC to establish the party’s final position on the Lofa election.

The former ruling party called for the immediate replacement of the entire NEC Board of Commissioners because it does not represent the people’s interest. 

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Last week, the NEC declared Cllr. Jallah as the winner of the Lofa County Senatorial by – election.

“With 100% of the polling places having been tallied, the commission hereby declares independent candidate Joseph Kpator Jallah as the winner of the June 28, 2022, senatorial by-election in Lofa County,” said Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, Chairperson of the NEC.

The by-election was held to fill a vacant seat that former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai could not be allowed to occupy following his election in 2020 due to his conviction in a criminal trial.

Unity Party’s next choice for the Lofa senatorial by-election, Mr. Galakkpai Kortimai also lost the polls to government-supported candidate, Cllr. Jallah.

However, Liberia’s former Vice President and current Unity Party leader Amb. Joseph Nuymah Boakai said UP believes that based upon its finding, investigation and evidence, the conduct of the Lofa senatorial by-election was marred by many irregularities.

He claimed that some of these were outright illegal actions that impacted the results.

He urged that competent people take over the NEC to prepare it for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

Boakai said the country has come through so much and it cannot continue to trade peace with a disorderly election.

He urged all partisans of UP, the United Nations, the United States of America, the European Union, the African Union, ECOWAS, and all friends of Liberia to ensure the future of Liberia [is protected] in this endeavor.

“Meanwhile, our legal team will be communicating with the National Elections Commission to establish our final position on Lofa,” said Mr. Boakai. 

“These two deliberate violations stated above clearly cast doubts on the validity of the results announced by the National Elections Commission and undermine the sanctity, credibility and integrity of the votes cast in Lofa County on June 28, 2022,” he added. 

Boakai said Unity Party and its allies take these many violations seriously as they have the effect of NEC allegedly selecting a Senator of Lofa County.

“How insulting to Lofa County!!!  The people of Lofa County deserve better than an irregular and mistake-prone process presided over by [the] National Elections Commission,’’ Amb. Boakai noted.

The former Vice President disclosed that over and over, they have questioned the credibility and capacity of the NEC to conduct free and fair elections in Liberia.

He said NEC’s alleged open display of partisanship is also a troubling matter, adding that the Unity Party does not believe that the Commission as currently constituted, can hold credible elections in Liberia in 2023.

Additionally, Boakai said the Unity Party is greatly troubled by the NEC’s statement that there were attempts to hack its website beginning on 30 June when the election results were announced after this date.

“Was the hacking successful? Or was there any hacking at all? These are legitimate questions that we asked in light of all the things that have been done in these elections,” said Boakai. 

“We submit to you, fellow Liberians, that what was posted by the Commission on its website was the product of NEC itself and these efforts are geared towards changing the results of the election,” he stated.–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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