Monrovia-Mr. James Fromoyan, Chairman of the National Election Commission, the man who was charged with the responsibility to conduct Liberia’s crucial general and presidential elections has been dismissed for gross incompetence.
The news of the former Election Commission chairman dismissal was made known today, about a week to the run-off election slated for next Tuesday.
The opposition Congress for Democratic Change, had threathened to boycott the run-off if Mr. James Fromoyan didn’t step down or removed as head of the commission for what the party described as massaging the October elections 11th result in favor of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Last Wednesday the former Liberian election chief sent his official certification of the first round of the election to the Congress for Democratic Change and Unity Party of President Sirleaf , informing both parties they were qualified to go to the runoff by virtue of finishing first and second places respectively in the first round of the election.
Mr. Fromoyan trouble started when in his letter of certification to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, informed the party that it won the first round of the election with a 43.9% of the votes; a complete flip from what the commission had announced indicated from all data available f and publications from the commission.
The flipping of the result from the Unity party to the opposition sparked a jubilation on last Wednesday at the headquarters of the party, though the party had earlier known that it came second from what the commission had put out, a mixed feelings believing the party won the first round of the elections but was rigged in favor of President Sirleaf.
Just as the flipped news went viral that the commission certified the opposition winner of the first round, the commission walked back on its certification and said it was a typo error; the opposition in fact didn’t win the first round but President Sirleaf’s Unity Party.
The former election chief had been consistently accused of been a staunched interest of President Sirleaf and therefore the commission could not be impartial as referee of the elections, calling for him to step down or be removed.
President Sirleaf immediately came to the defense of the former election chief late last week, saying she could not remove Mr. Fromoyan because his position is tenure based.
The removal Mr. Fromoyan as head for the election commission is a political liability to president Sirleaf’s second term bid in the runoff and could cause her the presidency because it will bring credibility to the opposition’s claim of attempted vote rigging for her to be re-elected and that the former chairman was an agent for the President who masterminded the plot but thwarted by the opposition, the country’s engaged civil society, and the engaged citizenry.
It is said the former election chief was replaced by his deputy but it is yet to be seen whether the opposition accepts his replacement would contest in next Tuesday runoff.
It is believed the opposition could welcome the removal of Mr. Fromoyan but only as a step forward in a series of demands the opposition made including restoring trust and integrity in the National Election Commission, an imperative which in turn will necessitate the postponement of the runoff to about a month to give enough time to for confidence building in the new team which the opposition could trust to dispense and administer a fair and credible runoff.