Apprehensions being expressed in some segments of the society, particularly among some leaders of political parties and civil groups here about excess ballot papers printed by the National Elections Commission with growing suspicions that it is intended to cheat during the October 10 elections is unjustifiable, to say the least.
Not that we are on a Public Relations stunt here for the NEC, but it is a fact that in all previous elections, the Commission had printed excess ballots to avoid shortage on polling day. Additionally, since 2005 the electoral house has conducted both presidential and legislative elections, including by-elections that were rated free, fair, transparent and peaceful by international observers such as EU, AU, ECOWAS and other bodies as well as national observers.
When the NEC conducted presidential elections in 2005 and 2011, no other political party except the Congress for Democratic Change raised unsubstantiated claims about fraud among the more than dozen presidential candidates who participated.
Also, all along these processes the NEC has worked and continues to work with political parties and civil society groups as well as international partners here to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
Therefore, we join River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh in calling on the fear-mongers to keep silent and give the NEC a chance to conduct these elections freely, fairly and peacefully to transition political governance in our country. It is absurd for anyone or group to be raising alarm about cheating even when the elections have not been conducted. Besides the issue of excess ballots is no secret, because when the ballot papers for both presidential candidates and representative candidates arrived in Liberia, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya informed the public thru a news conference.
Chairman Korkoya recently announced the arrival of 3,053,435 presidential ballot papers and 3,112,725 legislative ballot papers for the October 10 Presidential and Representative Elections. There are about 2,183,629 registered voters across the country with 20 presidential candidates and more than 800 candidates for seats in the House of Representatives.
It behooves all peace-loving Liberians to work with the National Elections Commission and our international partners in making sure these elections are conducted freely, impartially and peacefully rather than engage in fear-mongering and wolf-crying, which are counter-productive to peaceful elections.