By Alex Yomah
Barely six days to the conduct of the midterm Special Senatorial Elections, Collaborating Political Parties and others, have threatened to boycott the ensuing National Referendum on Dec 8 due to what they termed as violation of the Constitution and inadequate sensitization of the referendum campaign.
The opposition parties signed the press statement which was read by the CPP Chairperson Alexander Cummings, comprising of four Collaborating Parties, (CPP), the Rainbow Coalition, the Student Unification Party (SUP) and a Civil Society Organization (CSO) under the banner Women can lead.
Addressing a well-attended press conference held at the ANC Headquarters yesterday, Alexander Cummings called for the immediate cancellation and postponement of the ensuing Referendum, and also demanded the unconditional resignation of the NEC Board or else; will ask all opposition supporters across Liberia to boycott the Referendum.
Cummings said,” Despite a recent Supreme Court’s ruling that the official Gazette, with 3 condensed propositions, is inconsistent with the Constitution and cannot be used to print ballots and hold the Referendum, the NEC in an alleged collusion with the CDC Administration, is forcing and rushing the National Referendum. Sadly, the National Referendum is being rushed and forced without an official Gazette from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, listing all 8 propositions, being issued.”
“In view of the entire illegality attached to the upcoming referendum, the CPP, the Rainbow Coalition; SUP, other Opposition Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations present at this press conference hereby request a cancellation and postponement of the referendum and demand a resignation of the current Board of Commissioners of the NEC, given their partisan nature, inexperience and ineptitude,” he declared.
Adding; “Should the government insist on proceeding with the referendum, we urge all of our supporters and well-meaning Liberians to boycott the referendum on December 8, 2020 and only go to the polls to vote Senatorial Candidates and Representative Candidates for the By-elections.”
“We do not rule out possible legal actions if NEC insists on holding the planned illegal referendum. We cannot and will not participate in an unconstitutional process. We reserve the right to peacefully assemble and will be doing so over the coming days to call attention to our legitimate demands,” he clarified.
Cummings alleged that the oppositions community are aware of the reported plans for NEC to rig the ensuing for ruling coalition for Democratic Change.
He further stated, “We would also like to warn the CDC and the NEC that we are aware of plans to rig the Senatorial Elections. We have put in place all measures to protect our votes and would resist vehemently any attempts to thwart the will of the people”.
CPP’s Chairperson Cummings, alleged in a press statement issued yesterday that NEC is in collusion with ruling CDC.
According to Cummings, May 2020, NEC requested the Government of Liberia, led by the CDC, to postpone the Special Senatorial Election outside the constitution timeframe of October 13, 2020, without any input whatsoever from, nor reference to other political parties who are stakeholders in the process, except the ruling CDC.
“This unilateral act of collusion between the NEC and the CDC-led Administration was followed by a Joint Resolution of the National Legislature to postpone the elections to December 8, 2020”. Second, the NEC unilaterally, again in collusion with the CDC-led Administration, launched the Voters Roll Update exercise and decided that the Voter Roll Update VRU would be carried out through a previously-failed mobile process, instead of the time-tested standard stationary process, without any reference to the other parties who are equal competitors in our democratic process,”.
He explained that due to fear from the public, the mobile VRU became a massive scheme of fraud ranging from voters-trucking, to multiple registration, to creation of ghost voters and registration of foreign nationals.
He added that mobile process, which in 2014 during the dry season, failed to register a targeted 120,000 voters for five weeks. “We are made to understand, magically registered almost 300,000 voters in two weeks during the rainy season, with bad road conditions,” he added.
What is troubling, according to Cummings is that the NEC, despite calls and pressures from opposition political parties, refused, neglected and failed to clean-up the 2017 voters roll, in violation of the November 2017 Supreme Court Ruling, and the June 5, 2020 Joint Resolution of the National Legislature mandating that “a clean-up process of the 2017 FRR be conducted by the NEC with the involvement of political parties.
“The failure of the NEC to be fair and transparent led us to proceed to our country’s Supreme Court, hoping that justice would be served. But we hoped in vain and waited hopelessly. The Supreme Court would not even muster the courage to entertain our petition calling for voters’ roll clean up, much less the legal morality to hear our complaints,” Cummings expressed disappointment.
Meanwhile, a member of the CPP, Benoni Wilfred Urey, says the CPP will not accept any result after, than victory for Abraham Darious Dillon who he claimed has won the elections.
“I want the public to know that there is no way that Senator Dillon can lose election. Nobody can beat Dillon,” Urey said.
According to Urey, everywhere the CPP went; Dillon is the only person the people of Montserrado County want and so, “Do not play with our elections. Any attempt to rig this elections, it will not go down well with our people,” Urey sounded a caveat.
Opposition, Civil Society Threaten To Boycott Referendum
By Alex Yomah