By J K K Peah
Philadelphia- Today, the National Election Commission of Liberia officially declared campaign open as the voters of Liberia are to go to the polls on October 10th in two months time to elect a new President who will replace President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as her second term ends and barred from seeking another election by term-limit clause in the country’s constitution, limiting every President to a two term of office, cumulatively to 12 years.
At 170 years of nationhood, celebrated on July 26th, the country which is Africa’s first independent republic and supposedly oldest democracy on the continent, is on the verge of holding a fraudulent and illegitimate election in October under the watchful eyes of Africa’s first woman President and Nobel Peace Laureate, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
After almost two century of nationhood, four times the existence of the rest of every African fifty-six nations and inherently almost two hundred years of democracy in this West African nation, the October 10th election could had been three of a true democratic elections in its history with the first and second being in 2005 which sailed Africa’s first woman President into office and the 2011 elections of her subsequent re-election to a second and final term.
Being the beneficiary and face of Liberia’s modern democracy after almost two hundred years of quack democracy and Africa’s first woman President, a landmark which showcased the emerging new Africa and a Nobel Peace Laureate, it seemed imperceptible that President Sirleaf would build on the advances made in democracy in her country and recognized the moral obligation her Presidency represents as a product of an unusual and sacred of rared occurrence, that she would strengthen the gains in democracy and conduct the truly and genuine democratic elections ever held in Liberia which is pillaged by bad ordeal of several miscarriage elections and quack democracy.
President Sirleaf apparently does not reign in the foregone responsibilities as chief executive of the country and her moral obligation to the people of Liberia, Africa, womanhood and the world which her Presidency represents but for whatever her reason, signed on to preside over and conduct an historic election, unlike one in 73 years, carefully orchestrated in fraud and illegitimacy by consciously and knowingly appointing the Chairman of the election commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya who by Liberian laws is a foreign national, citizen of the United States, a violation of the constitution and laws of Liberia.
Appointing an American citizen and foreign national to preside over the October election, automatically delegitimizes the election and render it a fraud and any government emanating from such fraudulent and illegitimate election, will not have the legitimacy as a sovereign government but a fraud.
President Sirleaf will not have the luxury to excuse her actions to intentionally conduct and preside over a fraudulent election or insist her actions come against the backdrop of being innocent and not aware of Cllr. Korkoya’s American citizenship because she hired him and should had done due diligence to authenticate whatever information he might had provided while she searched for a Chairman of the commission. The President could had also corrected her mistake, if it were ever a mistake by removing the Chairman, when the media discovered he was an American citizen and evidence of his U S passport and voting records in the state of New Jersey in the United States were published by the media and a prominent Liberian politician and presidential candidate, Dr Togba Nah Tipoteh took the Chairman to court on his foreign citizenship, a case which is yet to be adjudicated.
The refusal of the Liberian President to remove Mr Korkoya or ask him to rescue himself from presiding over the election until the accusation of his American citizenship is settled by the court but instead, allows him to continue to administer the landmark election, is a glaring indication that President Sirleaf is ungrateful to the Liberian nation and people and holds a graved disdain for the laws and institutions of the country, a trademark of disloyalty to country and a traitor of patriotism.
If the National Election Commission finally certifies the candidates to contest the elections and their certificates bear the signature of Cllr. Korkoya as Chairman, it is then, President Sirleaf and government would had officially commissioned a fraudulent and illegitimate election and even if he is removed after the certification, it will make no difference of the election being a fraud and illegitimate and any government coming out such process will not have the legitimacy of a sovereign government.
As the result of President Sirleaf refusal to remove Chairman Korkoya from presiding over the election over the accusation of his foreign citizenship, other aspirants who too are American and citizens of foreign countries, including a former Coca Cola executive, Mr Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, a naturalized American, Senator George Weah , Standard Bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change, a naturalized French and American citizen, are all emboldened and contesting the election as presidential candidates to hold the highest office in the country though Liberia does not recognize dual citizenship and if the country had a dual citizenship law, these candidates would still not run for public office because the constitution and election laws forbid a dual citizen from running for public office.
The failure of the National Election Commission to properly vet aspirants and authenticate information but accepts on face-value whatever information they provide whether fabricated, further dampened the depth of the fraudulence and illegitimacy of the 2017 election and one would conceive the reluctance of the Commission to authenticate and vet candidates and the information they provide because the Chairman of the Commission himself is in infraction of the constitution and a foreign citizen too.
While President Sirleaf could be held liable for the fraud and illegitimacy engulfing the election which has the potential of threatening the legitimacy of the next government if nothing is done in due time, the Supreme Court is the tool used to decorate the fraud and illegitimacy to appear legal in the eyes of the law as the country’s final arbiter of justice strangulated democracy and usurped the authority of the Legislature to remark law as cases are brought before it, rather than interpreting the law, they legislate new law and give new meaning to laws that come before them for interpretation as evident in the case brought before the court by the Liberty Party against the National Election Commission for disqualifying its Vie Standard Bearer for being in violation of article 5.1 and 5.2 of the country’s national code of conduct which for bird former government officials from contesting an election if that official failed to resign two years before the election her or she wants to contest.
The Supreme Court bent over backwards and shot itself in the head by taking back its own decision upholding the constitutionality of the national code of conduct in a case brought before it by a local public official but in a new twist, the court brought down a verdict which is far stretched from common sense and stripped of legal reasoning and interpretation as one Liberian on one of Liberian social media platforms put it, “I just discussed the Supreme Court’s decision to one of my American friend who is a lawyer and he said, the court is inconsistent with itself, they did not use the law but might have used something else to reach that decision”.
The Supreme Court ordered the Commission to grant the Liberty Party’s Vice Standard Bearer “due process” because the Vice Standard Bearer made a compelling effort by resigning and his action was not “ergrecious” to deny him from contesting the election ” but at the same time directing the commission to put the Vice Standard Bearer on the ballot, a decision which opened a floodgate of several public officials resigning the day of the ruling and final nomination period to register their candidacies.
Astonishingly, the country’s Legislature has been silent on the pending danger of an incoming illegitimate government which would also bring in 73 illegitimate lawmakers of the House of Representatives as well as a conspiracy of silence from the Liberian opposition parties which from evidence, they are doing so because their respective standard bearers too are either in violation of the constitution, election laws and code of conduct.
No matter what the maneuvering, collusion and twisting of the laws to accommodate a special interest at the expense of the Liberian people and country, the constitution and election laws are clear that only a Liberian citizen can be a member of the National Election Commission and Chairman as well as only Liberian citizen can run for public office which contradict the many candidates contesting the election who hold foreign citizenship and in violation of the law, stamping the election a fraud and illegitimate.
The government emanating from the election if still under the supervision of the current non Liberian citizen, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya will automatically render the election a “fraud and illegitimate” election and any government emanating from the October election, will lack the legitimacy of a sovereign government.
As the campaign unfolds and the country gear towards election, the link below provide the basic data of the election.