LIBERIA: NEC To Probe 3 Magistrates For Their Alleged Involvement In Electoral Fraud

NEC new Chairperson designate, Mrs. Davidetta Brown Lansana

Addressing a major press conference today, September 22, 2020, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Davidetta Browne Lansanah said the commission has been recalled from their respective assignments for investigation on their alleged involvement in reported election fraud.

The NEC boss named the three magistrates assigned to Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Grand Gedeh Counties and further disclosed that they will be investigated by committee set up by the commission.

Recently it discovered by the GNN that NEC’s Senior Magistrate assigned in Grand Gedeh County, Arthur C. Y. Duogee of his alleged role in politics by allegedly acting as a  senior member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the County.

Last week a youth of Grand Gedeh County Allison Z. T. Dunner who walked into the offices of GNN to disclose how he wrote the Chairperson of the NEC Davidetta Brown Lansanah calling for the immediate removal of Mr Arthur C. Y. Duogee from the commission’s office in Grand Gedeh County if the Commission is to build trust and credibility in the upcoming elections under its watch.

Speaking to the GNN, Dunner recounted cases of suspected electoral fraud under Dougee’s watch across two elections, citing the cases of Mr. William Karyee and Rep Alex Grant in 2011 and that of Mr Patrick Bowah and Rep George Boley in 2017.

He said at one instance, Karyee filed a complaint with the NEC that he was robbed of victory in Grand Gedeh District three election in 2011, adding that he was touted as the winner of that election until results from the Boe/Ploe area in Gbarzon gave Mr Grant the final laugh, his supporters rejected the result, displaying tally sheets which they said were changed in Grant’s favour.

Dunner narrating also said, in 2017 Mr Patrick Bowah cried foul as Dr. George Boley claimed victory in District Two in a controversial fashion; Bowah also took exception to the result but later dropped his case, noting that “These are recipe for chaos if nothing is done about it, 2020 elections are too crucial to witness claims and counterclaims.To sustain the peace in our country we need to be clear about what matters to the public interest. We cannot continue with a man whose workings have the propensity to undermine our peace. In 2011 and 2017 people who were dissatisfied with elections results waived their cases for peace sake. Will that be the case in 2020? No one can guarantee that”. Dunner speaking to the GNN stressed.

He claimed that every election conducted by Mr.  Duogee as NEC’s magistrate in Grand Gedeh has been marred by suspected electoral malpractices, including in Margibi County where he presided over elections in 2014.

Dunner added that in the leaked emails Rep Grant was instructing Mr Dougee to hire people who were his associates as he was running to retain his seat at the House of Representatives, and further claimed how Dougee is a bosom friend of Rep Grant whose party is part of the Coalition for Democratic Change that is fielding Rep Zoe E. Pennue in the December 8 elections, as one of its newest members from the Congress for Democratic Change.

He said it puts the credibility of the elections in doubt if Mr. Dougee remains elections Magistrate in the Grand Gedeh County, also alleged that Magistrate Dougee has a host of close friends, and is connected with Representative Grant, who he often hires to conduct elections in Grand Gedeh County.

He said the evidences adduced in his communication to the NEC should be enough remove Dougee as Senior Magistrate of the County, and frowned on the commission’s failure to respond to his communication, saying it may make him to seek other means for redress.

Dunner said while it is a glaring fact that he holds no grudge against the Elections Magistrate, the peace of the country is hinged on the December elections. And those who might spur the tension, like Dougee, must be booted out of the system to safeguard peace.

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