By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
With barley 111 days ahead for the conduct of the 2014 Special Senatorial election, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) of a wicked strategy to manipulate election results to favor certain incumbent candidates and others of their choice.
The NEC is expected to conduct a special senatorial election for the first time since the 1986 constitution was adopted. The election would take place on the second Tuesday in October 2014.
The CDC has always accused the NEC of irregularities, cheating and incompetent to conduct electoral affairs in the country. The first was in 2005 elections when they lost to the ruling Unity Party (UP); the second was in 2011 general elections and another one was the Grand Bassa Senatorial By-election which was created as a result of former NPP secretary general’s death, John Whitefield.
At a press conference held on Tuesday, CDC Vice President for Operation, Mulbah Morlu, told reporters that the party has received information that some elements within the employ of NEC who have calculated to mastermind a grand scheme of envisaged vote-robbery which he claimed will be engineered by elections Magistrates and Presiding Officers operating in the 15 political sub-division of the country.
Mr. Morlu indicated that the likelihood of said calculated fraudulent exercise being as real as its detrimental consequences, the CDC requests the NEC to rotate and reassign election magistrates, given that most of them have been serving in those capacities since 2005 and are now working at the order of incumbent political actors.
Being immeasurably resolved to ascertain every vote-cast is transparently and credibly accounted for, Morlu said the CDC warned NEC-based data-manipulators secretly operating within the Commission to beware of the realities of changing times, as 2014 must not be mistaken for 2005/2011 when Liberia’s larger electoral communities were disenfranchised through widespread election fraud.
Considering the requirements of Chapter 4, under Conduct of Elections, S.4.1: “Voting Precincts” of the new elections law of Liberia, which instructs that “The number of registered voters in every precinct….. shall not exceed two thousand, Morlu told journalists that the CDC is inspired by this clause of the law to seek an extension of deadline for accreditation of observers, Party Agents, etc. “The importance of this extension cannot be overemphasized since the increase in new voters may create need for additional polling center,” Mulbah Morlu said.
When the National Elections Commission was contacted to comment on the allegation made by the CDC, NEC Public Relation Officer, Joey Kennedy, said NEC Executives are meeting and would soon respond to the CDC.