Monrovia – The national Chairman of the governing Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot J.M. Paye, has expressed dismay over the credibility of the head of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Chairman Jerome George Korkoya, to conduct a free, fair and transparent runoff election on December 26.
He made the statement over the weekend in an interview with a team of reporters at his Unity Party headquarters in Congo Town during a one-day mini youth retreat organized by the UP National Youth Congress.
Chairman Paye said even though UP does not have the appointing and dismissal power to remove the NEC Chairman, but as a political party, it is deeply concerned over the poor performance and inability of Cllr. Korkoya to lead the affairs of the Presidential runoff election.
“We don’t have the appointing power but in normal circumstances, reasonable people will respond because when the Supreme Court of any country gives a very damaging opinion on you as head of an electoral management body, you should not stay. If you read the opinion of the Court, the court devoted pages for Korkoya alone.”
“So in that case, the most reasonable thing to do is to recuse yourself. You are not the only person in the Republic of Liberia; somebody, may be the Co-Chair on the Commission, could preside over the election because we don’t want to go into a process with doubt,” he said.
Paye noted that the previous elections conducted under the watchful eyes of Chairman Korkoya were marred by massive fraud and gross irregularities, asserting that they do not have trust and confidence in the leadership of Jerome Korkoya to conduct the runoff election.
“We are participating in proceedings and meetings and activities over which Korkoya is presiding with reservation because we don’t trust him; we don’t trust him because the Court says so. And so we just hope that we can have a process whose outcome will be credible and all of us will be satisfied.”
“It is not about Korkoya, it is about the Republic of Liberia, that’s most important and that is what we are concerned about.”
“We are not saying the President should remove him, I’m telling you what is reasonable on his part or the part of those who appointed him. We don’t have that power, if we had that power, I don’t think he could have presided over the October 10th elections,” Paye affirmed.
It can be recalled recently that the ruling Unity Party (UP) called on the Supreme Court of Liberia to issue a stay order on the December 26 Presidential runoff election based on a 25-count Bill of Information filed to the highest court.
UP in their Bill of Information cited several issues ranging from the alleged failure of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to fully collaborate with the two parties going for runoff in the cleaning of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) before the pronouncement of the runoff date.
The Party (UP) indicated in the Bill of Information that NEC has failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandate ordering a thorough cleaning of the FRR before the holding of any runoff election.