What is believed to be an uncertain situation for the holding of the runoff election between the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of soccer star George Manneh Weah and to ruling Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai is said to be creeping in, despite last week’s Supreme Court ruling to allow the process to go on.
As authority at the National Elections Commission (NEC) gearing up for the rescheduling of runoff election, several rights groups and others are seriously demanding the immediate resignation of the Chairman of the Electoral body, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya.
Speaking on a local radio station in Monrovia today, executives of some local rights groups, and callers on radio stations are calling on the Chairman of the Commission to resign and give way for the successful holding of the runoff election as been declared by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
With this latest calls, Liberians are troubled of the process, noting that if this continue, Liberia may likely creep to interim government, a situation which will drag Liberia into constitutional crisis.
However, in another development, there are unconfirmed sources within the corridor of the National Elections Commission noting that the runoff which is yet to be scheduled is not likely to take place until after Christmas given the mandate of the Supreme Court that the electoral body clean up the voters’ roster.
“NEC cannot put a time frame on the holding of the run off until it cleans up the voters’ roll,” one source told this writer Sunday. The Supreme Court Friday 8 December gave NEC a go ahead to schedule the conduct of the prolonged presidential runoff between the two top candidates in the October 10 polls after denying Liberty Party’s request for a re-run of the said poll after it cited fraud and irregularities.
“That notwithstanding our findings that indeed there were some irregularities, fraud and violations of the New Elections Law, as well as the Rules and Regulations of the NEC, we hold that there is no evidence to show that those violations were in such magnitude that they rose to such level to warrant setting aside results of the Presidential and Representatives Elections held on October 10, 2017,” the court said in its final decision read by Associate Justice Phillip A.Z. Banks on Thursday, 7 December.
The decision to uphold NEC’s ruling and gives it the go ahead for a run-off was taken by majority of the Justices with one dissenting opinion. However, with this decision Friday, many here had thought that NEC would have gone ahead to immediately announce a runoff date.
But expert sources told this paper Sunday that NEC would first have to find the people with duplicated numbers and clean up the entire system as mandated by the Supreme Court.
The sources said given the technicality of the things that NEC has been mandated to do; it may not be possible to hold the runoff before the festive Christmas season.
“They have to as I said find the people with the duplicated numbers, and publish the voters roll at the over 5000 polling centers before announcing the date of the runoff,” another source added.
The ruling Unity Party and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change were scheduled to face off in a runoff on 7 November before a Supreme Court order halted the process on the eve of the runoff.
The Supreme Court said it agrees that the protesting parties presented some evidence in respect of certain violations, but it observes that the parties failed to show that the evidence pervaded the entire spectrum of the elections throughout or in a considerably wide or most parts of the country. All eyes and ears are now set on NEC to announce the time table leading to the conduct of the delayed runoff.