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Full Text: Nec Chair's Resignation Letter
Sunday 30th October 2011
The Standard Bearers and Members of Political Parties
Independent Candidates
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
International Partners
Religious and Civil Society Leaders
The Liberia Marketing Association and the National Labor Union of Liberia
The Press Union of Liberia
My Fellow Voters
People of Liberia[/B]

“To everything there is a time and a season to every purpose under the heavens”. It is my conviction that Liberia is at a crossroads and this is the time for institution building and strengthening of our emerging democracy. Our economy is poised to take off and we all look forward to our people enjoying their God given natural resources.

There is no doubt that all of this rest upon the choice of our people to exercise their constitutional rights by electing their national leaders in a peaceful, free, fair and transparent manner.

Constitutionally, the National Elections Commission is clothed with the authority to guarantee the elections are held in a free, fair and credible atmosphere but above all, the Commission derived its moral authority from the confidence of the people of Liberia in the ability of the NEC to freely and impartially conduct elections. There is no doubt that in some cases public sentiment could become stronger than the law.

Personally, I have always listened keenly to public and evaluated them in the best interest of our people and nation. All through my years advocating for justice and democracy in Liberia, I have constantly been in touch with the pulsating rhythm of the peoples’ thoughts and ideas.

This inspired me to risk everything in defense of their human rights. The prison record of this country will show that in pursuit of justice, fair play and equality, I was jailed at the Belle Yalla maximum prison when I dared to speak truth to the powers that be. Those were my formative years as a student at the University of Liberia. These experiences influenced me throughout adulthood and formed the foundation of my public services. At no time in my life have I been convicted of any criminal offense whatsoever.

Today, I am proud of my public record. In all modesty, I have made my contribution to democracy and civil rights in this country. Since assuming the Chairmanship of the NEC in 2006, the NEC has experienced tremendous transformation. This is evidenced by the establishment of the required physical and institutional infrastructures for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in line with international best practices.

Our special thanks and appreciation is extended to the Government of the United States through its embassy near Monrovia for providing the building and state of the art facilities that empowers the National Elections Commission to perform its statutory functions in serving the people of Liberia. Additionally, we are most grateful to the African Union, European Union, USAID, UNMIL and ECOWAS for their unwavering support to democracy in Liberia.

As a result of these institutional improvements, NEC conducted nine by-elections all of which were nationally and internationally acclaimed to be free, fair and transparent. Those elections laid the foundation for the holding of the highly anticipated October 11, 2011 presidential and legislative elections. The 4304 national and international observers are unanimous in their declaration that the first round of the elections was held in a free, fair and credible manner.

I wish to extend my personal thanks and appreciation to leaders of our religious communities for their constant prayer for peaceful elections. Similarly, our appreciation goes to civil society organizations and the security sector for their part in ensuring a peaceful atmosphere during the conduct of the elections.

Despite the tense atmosphere that attended the competition during the process, we want to thank all political parties and independent candidates who contributed to making the elections of October 11 most memorable. We also wish to express gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Liberia and its international partners for their unflinching support to the NEC.

Once in the life of people and nations, there comes a time for decision-making. This is my moment to decide in the best interest of our nation and the people for whom I spoke out, and went to jail in Belle Yalla.

My fellow compatriots, Commissioners of NEC are legally to serve for seven years. They may be removed from offices only for proven misconduct, and this is done through impeachment by the Liberian Senate. Despite the fact that I have not been formally charged with any misconduct, neither have I gone through any impeachment proceedings, there remains a constant call by some opposition parties for my resignation.

I want to emphasize that the decision I make today is in the supreme interest of the people of Liberia and not a capitulation of these demands. It is my hope therefore that with my departure from the Commission, there will be no further obstacle or pre-condition for their participation in the November 8 presidential run-off election.

Personally for many years, I looked forward to the day when Liberians would enjoy a multi-party system. I dreamed about a time when candidates would freely campaign without any form of harassment.

I visualized the people lining up at their various voting centers to peacefully cast their votes and decide who will lead them. My hope for an electoral system that is independent with the integrity and capacity for managing free, fair and credible elections has been finalized.

Professionally, I feel fulfilled and my mission is accomplished. Therefore, I wish to thank the President, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in me to serve as Chairman of NEC; and the Honorable Liberian Senate for its consent to have me serve. I wish to also extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the international community for their cooperation and support during my tenure as Chairman of NEC.

To my colleagues with whom I had the pleasure of serving on the National Elections Commission, I am most grateful for your cooperation, encouragement and support.

My heart thanks and appreciation is extended to headquarters staff, magistrates as well as polling staff and other field workers for their dedication and commitment as exemplified by their performance beyond the call of duty. I encourage all of you to continue the good work and do not allow my departure to damping your spirit in any manner whatsoever.

As I leave the Commission, it is my hope that you will continue to uphold the independent status of this institution and continue to serve with integrity and honesty. The high commendations received by NEC from national and international observers are a result of our collective efforts. I therefore encourage you to continue to let unity , harmony and mutual respect characterize your work.

Effective today, October 30, 2011, I hereby resign my position as Chairman of the National Elections Commission. I wish for the people of Liberia a peaceful holding of the presidential run-off elections. May it be characterized by the same atmosphere of calm and peace that attended the October 11, 2011 elections.

In my private capacity, I shall continue to do everything in my power to promote justice, fair play and equality in Liberia.

James M. Fromayan
Former Chairman
National Elections Commission
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