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Referendum a Big Mess, Poll Workers Seized and Abandoned Ballot Boxes: NEC Chairman, Others Asked to Step Down

A day after Liberia’s contentious referendum marked by flaw and purported fraud, Liberians awoke this morning with more astonishing development as if yesterday the hangover from the referendum is not yet over  it surfaced when poll workers began to call in to radio stations that they have seized and in other instances abandoned  the ballot boxes because the National Election Commission, NEC failed

Courtesy: AP

to pay them after their work was done. The poll workers said they won’t turn over the ballot boxes and other election materials to NEC because the commission renegade on its agreement with poll workers to pay  their compensation at the election sites the same day after the conduct of the election was over.

Other poll workers  have abandoned the ballot boxes, frustrated over the commission’s failure to pay their compensation for despite working on election day. One poll worker who called in to a radio station like other poll workers,  told the election commission to go on the corner of Point Junction on the street  on Bushrod Island, they will find the ballot boxes and other voting materials from the precinct at which he was assigned and they can go and  get them.

It is believed that the motive for poll workers action to seized and in some instance abandoned ballot boxes and other voting materials because in the past, the election commission failed to pay or not did pay in full poll workers in the past and this time the workers settled with the commission to be paid at the polling sites immediately after their work to avoid   experience.

Liberians calling in to radio stations in response to this development and the overall conduct of the referendum are calling the Chairman of the National Election Commission, James Fromoyan and other NEC’s official directly responsible to  for the conduct of the referendum to step down. Callers expressed their concern that if Mr. Fromoyan remains as head of the commission, he would ruin the country’s critical October elections. Others are saying the election commission boss is in inept and is incompetent to conduct the crucial elections this October.

The public alludes the NEC chairman if kept as head of the election commission  and spear head the conduct of the elections, he will ruin the it and put the country on the edge. This coming election is too sensitive and crucial to the viability of the country, the Liberian people are not prepared to have an inept and incompetent chairman at the head of the commission.

Liberians from across all stripes of the public including  supporters of President Sirleaf calling Mr. Fromoyan to step down or the President relieve him of his post and replace him with Cllr Tiawon Gongloe, former minister of Labor whom the public believes has the tenacity and character to conduct a credible election.

Public outcry for the poor and flawed referendum is overwhelmed recollecting the many flawed and poorly conducted by the commission elections, ranging from the  by elections in River Gee, Margibi, and the 2009  poorly conducted Senatorial by election.

Many  people  puzzle why the commission would not pay poll workers with all the help from the international community and the government. The NEC chairman told the Liberian people that they rented public vehicles and some of those vehicles broke down causing a some impediment.

The provisional result of the referendum will be released at 4:00 pm Liberian time, the NEC chairman said at a press conference held late last night at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. Many Liberians believe the integrity of the referendum has been compromised couple with the many controversy and flaw which characterize it supports the argument for the nullification of the referendum.

 

 

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