Since the start of the voter registration update (VRU) by Liberia’s premier electoral body, the National Elections Commission (NEC) there has been a litany of concerns that some aspirants are taking undue advantage of the process by trucking potential voters from one point of the country to another; especially areas where they are aiming to contest in the impending December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Elections (SSE) .
Fifteen seats will be up for grab in the upcoming senatorial contests which will be taking place in the fifteen counties of Liberia.
Already more than 190 candidates are reported to have been certificated by Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC).
An early bone of contention is the manner in which people are being ferried from Monrovia and other parts of Montserrado County to mainly Western Liberia and Grand Bassa County.
Bomi Senatorial hopeful on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Alex J. Tyler has come under the spotlight for being the main mastermind behind the transportation of would be voters from Monrovia to Bomi County.
“We have reports that Former Speaker Tyler is trucking people in their drove across the Po River into Bomi to register as voters for the December 8 polls “ Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe an Independent also a Senatorial hopeful said in a somewhat wavering voice during an a appearance on a local radio talk show.
“This is broad day attempt to cheat,” Snowe muttered bearing the tone of an angry man, he himself has been accused of doing similar act he is now accusing Tyler of.
“I have trucked people before into Bomi County. But not at the rate Mr. Tyler has been putting people on those big, big buses.” Snowe revealed while trying to deflate the magnitude of his version of trucking of voters.
Tyler and his team have been accused of getting the blessings of the government in his alleged trucking of voters expedition.
“ They are giving people L$ 1500 each to get on the NTA buses and go to Bomi to register as voters . Some people were taken to remote villages to avoid further suspicion .” People pointing accusing fingers at former Speaker Tyler have been explaining during some of the many narrations on the debacle of voter’s trucking in Bomi County.
Tyler himself has been mum on the matter. But people closed to his camp have described the mass movement of people to Bomi County as a normal exercise by citizens who are eager to participate in the democratic process.
Trucking of voters have swamped mainly candidates of the ruling party –CDC . In Grand Cape Mount County Senator Watson of the CDC has been accused of bringing people into the county from both from Monrovia and across the border from Sierra Leone .
While in Grand Bassa County , the Senatorial bid of former Foreign Minister Gbezohngar Findley has been checkered with claims that he has been trucking people into the county and giving them US$ 20 each to register in Grand Bassa.
Liberia’s biggest elections observation group the Elections Coordination Committee (ECC) has alarmed over the rate of alleged voter’s trucking in the country.
Hear the ECC head Atty. Oscar Bloh :The NEC should investigate these reports of voter’s trucking and take action against anyone found culpable
The ECC described these reports as troubling and unhealthy for Liberia’s fledgling democracy.
But Liberia’s Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe described such claims as unfounded .
“ Trucking of voters is insignificant and will have no impact on the overall outcome of the election results .” Minister Nagbe said while dismissing the impact of trucking on an early morning radio show in Monrovia .
I could do the same by trucking people to Sasstown , Grand Kru County “ . Nagbe announced as he feverishly strived to justify trucking of voters.
“Trucking of people for the elections is not a bad thing . In fact it is good “ Added, Minister Nagbe .
Observers aand political pundits have described Minister Eugene Nagbe’s statement as concerning and a tacit admittance that the government is supporting the trucking the voters by its candidates by providing state assets in the form of buses operated by the national transport operator the National Transit Authority (NTA) .
The impending December Special Senatorial Elections as a litmus test to the commitment of the current government to the conduct of free , fair and credible democratic processes .