When Liberia Set A World Record For “The Most Rigged Election … In History”

BY : J. Railey Gompah

Liberian General Elections Of 1927

In 1927, about 95 years ago, the Republic of Liberia (West Africa) held general and presidential elections. In the presidential election, candidates were incumbent Charles Dunbar Burgess King of the ruling True Whig Party and Thomas J. Faulkner of the opposition People’s Party.

At the time, Liberia had 15,000 Registered Voters according to the National Elections Commission (NEC). When voting ended, however,  King was re-elected for a third term with 96% (240,000) of votes cast; and Faulkner received 4% (9,000) of the votes. In other words, statistically, Liberia’s voter turnout of 1927 was in excess of  1,660%! Liberia would go on to set a global record for fraudulent elections that perhaps remains unbroken.

Years later, Liberia’s National Elections Commission Chairman Francis Johnson-Morris (who did not preside over the 1927 elections) referred to the 1927 Liberian General and Presidential Elections as “the most rigged ever” (New Democrat). In fact, the 1927 Liberian elections made it into the Guinness Book of Records as “the most fraudulent election ever reported in history” (Senegambia News).

Subsequent Development

Shortly after the 1927 Liberian elections, the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) ordered invesitations into a multifaceted accusation by Faulkner that members of the True Whig Party government were using slave labor at home; selling slaves to the then Spanish colony of Fernando Po; and involving the Liberian Army in the process.

While the allegations could not be fully substantiated, it was established that both Liberian President C.D.B. King and Vice President Allen Yancy were profiting from forced labor, which was equivalent to slavery (GlobalSecurity.org). In the early stages of an impeachment proceeding by the Liberian House of Representatives against President King and Vice President Yancy, they both quickly resigned. Then Liberian Secretary of State Edwin James Barclay succeeded King as President of Liberia, with James Skivring Smith Jr. as Vice President.

Another fallout from Liberia’s  “most rigged” elections of 1927 was a call for the League of Nations’ trusteeship of Liberia. In the 21st Century, U.N. trusteeship of Liberia would mean the international group running the Republic of Liberia, backed by American dollars and foreign soldiers from around the globe protecting Liberia; until Liberia proved capable of running itself. That would be the scenario if the 1927 electoral controversy repeated itself in 2023.

Upcoming Elections

The next Liberian General and Presidential Elections are scheduled for all day on Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Current Liberian President George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will be seeking re-election, for his second and final 6-year term, against an ever-increasing number of opposition political parties for such a small country. Already, there are predictions and fear of a rigged presidential election; however, it remains to be seen! Time shall tell.

At the 22 September 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, President Dr. George Manneh Weah of the Republic of Liberia spoke directly to the upcoming elections in Liberia when he issued a reminder to all concerned:

“In the run-up to the 2023 elections, it is incumbent upon all prospective candidates to avoid the incitement of violence, and any other behavior that could deprive the Liberian people of the peaceful space that they need to freely exercise their franchise, and freely express their political will in choosing their leaders.  We must let the people decide, and then we must respect their decision.  That is indeed the true essence of democracyMeanwhile, we will continue to count on the United Nations, and our various bilateral and multilateral partners, for financial, technical, and institutional capacity-building support” (The New Republic).

A WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT: “MAINTAIN THE DELICATE BALANCE OF PEACE; AND LET THE BALLOT BOX DECIDE!” — J. Railey Gompah

About Us 

“LIBERIAN HISTORY: News And Views You Can Use”  produced and published by GOMPAH MEDIA LLC (USA)  is a faith-informed socio-cultural-political commentary on the Republic of Liberia; rooted in the Liberating Truth: “From one person God made all nations on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us,  and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are. The LORD blesses each nation that worships only Him” (Acts 17:26-28 & Psalms 33:12, CEV).

Culturally sensitive and values-driven, this Commentary is intended to make you face yourself and think. Our author, J. Railey Gompah (a long-time Western New York resident), is a distinguished Liberian American scholar; faith-based diplomat; Diaspora Protestant missionary statesman; and legendary broadcast journalist of international repute. Born and bred in Nimba County (north-central Liberia), he was nurtured, mentored and educated (in his homeland and the United States)  by a succession of Irish, British, Canadian and American Protestant missionaries to Nimba County and Liberia. A former Presidential Press Secretary to the Liberian Head of State at the Executive Mansion (Monrovia, Liberia), he is included among “Liberian Historical Figures” (see Historical Dictionary of Liberia, 2000, Page 108). “J. Railey” (as he is popularly known) served, for nearly 13 years (1969-1981), as English Language News Director and anchorman at American-owned Radio Station ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) near Monrovia, Liberia; where (at age 22) he co-anchored a special news coverage of America’s historic “Moon Landing” (on 20 July 1969) beamed to the African continent out of Liberia.

Today, J. Railey Gompah is Founding Chancellor of the new and unfolding BASILEIA INDUSTRIAL UNIVERSITY on a 46.5-acre American Technology Campus (ATC) in Meinpea District, Nimba County (north-central Liberia): Liberia’s first and premier Faith-Based Tuition-Free Career-Tech Work-Intensive University for: (1) poverty eradication through workforce development;  (2) integrated national sustainable development; (3) comprehensive community empowerment; (4) holistic life transformation; (5) transformational leadership development with focus on  transparent honesty and flint-faced integrity; (6) “Natural Church Development” (NCD); and (7) individual self-help initiatives according to the Divine Directive (God’s Command): “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands,,,so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, ESV).

He may be reached via email (jrgompah@gmail.com). To discover what others are saying, click here (http://basileianimbaland.org/index.php/commendations/); to join our visionary and share our vision for Liberia and its people, visit this link (http://basileianimbaland.org/).; and to learn more about our visionary, click here (http://basileianimbaland.org/index.php/meet-our-visionary/), Thanks and blessings!

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