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Blogs: Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review
Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review-27th October, 2011
Thursday 27th October 2011

Monrovia, October 27th, 2011: We begin today’s review with a story from the New Dawn, thatamidst claims of massive vote rigging in favor of the ruling Unity Party by the Congress for Democratic Change, the US Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas Greenfield has denounced the CDC’s claims saying the process was free, fair and transparent. The paper in a story headlined, US Rubbishes CDC’s Claims adds that, speaking during an interactive program hosted by the Liberian Media Initiative or LMI,  Amb. Greenfield said the fact that the elections even had to go for a run-off between the incumbent and the opposition points to fair play in the process.

According to the Heritage newspaper,President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said there is no justification to warrant the removal of James M. Fromayan as Chairman of the National Elections Commission. The opposition Congress for Democratic Change is demanding the removal of Mr. Fromayan, because according to the CDC, he (Fromayan) is a crony of the President. However, addressing the Truth Breakfast Show on Truth FM, President Sirleaf said that if any issue is formally raised against Fromayan, it would be investigated. The story is headlined, Ellen: No Justification To Remove Fromayan.

Ellen Assures Liberians is a story in the In profile Daily. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured Liberians that the country will be safe during and after the legislative and presidential elections, asserting that protecting the lives and properties of citizens is a primary responsibility of the government. “We know that, first and foremost, we’re supposed to protect you, your life, your property; we are trying to do that”. According to a press release issued and signed by presidential press secretary Cyrus Badio, the President said security has been beefed up, with an increase in the level of patrols across the country.

The News newspaper reports that, NEC Neutrality Questioned as CDC Detects “Kangaroo Runoff”. Opposition Congress for Democratic Change has questioned the neutrality of the National Elections Commission Chairman James Fromayan to preside over the November 8, 2011 Presidential Election run-off. CDC alleged that Mr. Fromayan is a bona fide member of the ruling Unity Party who, along with some members of the Commission, secretly attend UP’s executive committee meeting. The CDC noted that the Commission has been unable to lift itself or differentiate it activities and actions from the inflammatory rhetoric of the ruling Unity Party against the CDC.

Commissioners Removal Difficult, ECC Encourages CDC in Runoff is also a story in the News. The Elections Coordinating Committee has pointed out to the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change that it would be difficult at this time of the political process to remove commissioners of the National Elections Commission. The ECC says the reason is that Commissioners of NEC have a tenure of security and can only be removed for proven misconduct as enshrined in the revised 2004 elections law. The ECC indicated that as far as its observation is concerned, it did not observe any systematic attempt on the part of NEC to manipulate or influence the outcome of the results in favor of any particular candidate or party.

According to the Heritage in a story headlined, Ellen: Liberia’s Security Situation “Disturbing” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the security situation of Liberia as “disturbing”. She made the assertion Tuesday when she appeared as guest on the local radio talk show, Truth Breakfast Show. She emphasized the national security forces are aware of some of the “infractions” that constitute the “disturbing” security situation adding that “as a matter of fact, investigation will be released to the public, noting that some individuals who have “violated the rights of others have been arrested, and that will also be disclosed to the public”.

Also in the Daily Watch is the story, CDC Persists. The Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, has categorically refused to be part of the presidential runoff slated for November 8, 2011. Speaking at a well-attended press conference, held at the headquarters of the party on Wednesday, George Solo, Vice Campaign Manager of the CDC and confidant of the founder of the party, disclosed that the party will not participate in the runoff until the team of James Fromayan is replaced. “We want to make it clear to NEC through this written communication that we will not be engaging in the run-off if certain conditions are not met. This is not a new position, it is a position we have now and we will always say this that we will only engage in the runoff when we feel that the process will be free, fair and transparent”, George Solo said.

We end today’s review with two similar stories, one from the Daily Watch and the other from the FrontPage Africa. The Daily Watch reports that, the National Elections Commission, NEC has made a theatrical U-turn through the release of a fresh result of the presidential election, declaring CDC as winner and the UP as second. In a letter to the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, the head of the NEC, James Fromayan, informed the biggest opposition political party that out of the total votes tallied, they have realized that the CDC topped the first round. The Communication did not state why the electoral body in its final pronouncement declared the UP as winner of the first round when in fact the CDC is the actual victor from the initial exercise, which casts a dark cloud over the entire process. The story is headlined; NEC Summersaults Says CDC Tops First Round.

FrontPage Africa also reports that, Fromayan Flops. The head of Liberia’s National Elections Commission has deepened fears from the opposition Congress for Democratic Change that the first round of the legislative and presidential election was marred by fraud. In a letter to the final two contesting parties left in the presidential race, date for Nov. 8. Fromayan inadvertently gave the final tallies of the ruling Unity Party to the Congress for Democratic Change.

 

This daily news review is compiled by African Elections Project (AEP) Media Monitoring Center at LMC, Monvrovia, Liberia.

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