As Liberia electoral body, the National Elections Commission (NEC) gears up for the midterm senatorial elections scheduled for December 8, 2020, the issue of suspected electoral fraud has become the talk of the town, as candidates allegedly violate the elections law by reportedly trucking non-Liberians voters from outside of the country.
Already, GNN investigation has uncovered that candidates in the race are deliberately violating the country’s electoral laws by recruiting non-Liberians to vote in their interest during the December 8 midterm senatorial elections, a situation if not checked by the NEC could plummet Liberia into another chaotic situation.
Here in Monrovia, some candidates in the race have begun early campaign, bragging to improve and better the living conditions of their constituents if they are voted for, despite violating the electoral law about early campaign without the approval of the NEC as required by law.
Already one of the candidates in the Montserrado County midterm senatorial race, and also the current District #5 Montserrado County Representative, Thomas Fallah, affectionately calls ‘Mr. ATM’ who is said to be y dishing out huge CASH to several communities in Monrovia and its environs on his political bid is apparently making his presence to be felt ahead of the election as a result of his CASH generosity.
In other parts of the country; specifically in the southeast and western Liberia some candidates are apparently trucking voters from neighboring countries to violate the country’s electoral law; by obtaining voter registration cards, while others are allegedly hiring non-Liberians who are resident in Liberia, including the Fulanis from Guinea and Cote d’ Ivoire.
In the southeast, specifically in Grand Gedeh County it has been reported that one of the candidates has allegedly hired over 850 Fulanis, providing them with Voter Registration Cards that will enable them to be part of the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections.
This situation in Grand Gedeh County has reportedly created serious mixed reactions amongst citizens and residents of the county who have wondered the role of a senior magistrate of the National Elections Commission (NEC) assigned in the County for his alleged involvement in politics by supposedly aiding the process to enlist non-Liberians to be issued Voter Registration Cards in favor of Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennue of District # 2.
Effort by the GNN to ascertain the facts proved futile as Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennue mobile lines rang endlessly without response. He was also texted on multiple times but to no avail. Even at his Matadi Estate residence, Representative Pennue’s security assigned told our reporter that the lawmaker was not available to speak to the allegation.
On his part, NEC Senior Magistrate assigned in Grand Gedeh County, Arthur C. Y. Duogee when contacted via mobile phone aggressively spoke to our staff and declined to comment on the allegation leveled against him.
In a related development, in western Liberia, Grand Cape Mount County a similar unscrupulous recruiting of non-Liberians have become the order the day as GNN Liberia has unearthed another similar situation where the United People Party (UPP’s) senatorial aspirant Sando Wayne has complained to the National Elections Commission.
According to aspirant Wayne, the Sierra Leone – Liberian’s interconnection of people and economies on both sides of the Mano River border is being misused by residents and citizens of both countries to interfere in the electoral processes.
He complained to the NEC that a Sierra Leonean national and businessman residing in Grand Cape Mount County, Idrissa Mansary of the Hard Work Company reportedly campaigned for Victor Watson, current Senator of Grand Cape Mount County from September 10, 2019 to October 4, 2019 in the Sierra Leonean communities, including Zimi, Makpelle, Fairo,Gonohun, Ndombu, Gofor, Gissiwolo,, Gbah Makpala, among others.
Wayne further alleged that during the 2017 Voter’s Registration exercise, Idrissa Mansary, facilitated the transfer of Liberians voters’ registration materials to Sierra Leone, and registered more than 10,000 Sierra Leone nationals, under an infamous contract-voting scheme; that these contract-voters overwhelmingly increased the number of registered voters on the voters rolls of sparsely populated border town-polling centers in Grand Cape Mount County; and that these contract-voters, more so than Liberians, have regularly voted at these centers and influenced the outcome of Liberia’s elections.
Writes: Joel Cholo Brooks