— Says NEC is deliberately underreporting the respective candidates’ votes.
The campaign teams of presidential candidates Alexander Cummings and Dr. Clarence Moniba have accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) of deliberately underreporting their respective candidates’ votes.
The allegations, which were made in separate statements by both candidates’ campaign teams yesterday strike the same core message of foul play on the part of the electoral body.
The Cummings campaign team, which is composed of some of the country’s well-respected politicians, has claimed that the “ridiculously low” numbers being reported by the NEC do not reflect the actual numbers that Cummings has received.
“The Campaign Committee to elect Cummings President of Liberia is alarmed by the reported numbers the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) presidential ticket is said to have received so far,” Lewis Brown, the National Campaign Chairman for Cummings, said in a statement on October 12.
“While we are still assessing the results at this point, it’s important that we flag as a major issue of concern the clear pattern that is emerging across the country,” Brown added. Partisans and supporters of the Collaborating Political Parties from all across the country are informing us of troubling concerns that places where they voted, including in large numbers, are reporting ridiculously low numbers for Cummings. This is also true where CPP down-ballot candidates are projected to win.”
Similarly, the Moniba campaign, in a separate statement, alleged a similar pattern of underreporting of their candidate’s votes, especially in areas where they had received overwhelming support from their supporters.
Moniba’s Campaign Chair, Lloyd Scott explained that the discrepancies are a deliberate attempt to suppress their candidate’s electoral prospects.
“Ensuring the validity of the vote count, one reflective of the true will of the Liberian people on October 10, remains the primary concern of the ‘A New Liberia’ movement under the candidacy of Moniba and Grace Kpaan,” Scott added. “It is a process to which we remain fully committed and one from which we will not flinch.”
“The Moniba/Kpaan campaign is alerted to serious concerns emanating from the vote counts released so far by the National Elections Commission. Without now issuing a final ruling on the authenticity of these initial results, they do raise serious concerns as polling centers in which our partisans and campaign staff voted in credible numbers, but the report is not reflective of any partisans or supporters voting for our ticket,” he claimed.
The statements from the Cummings and Moniba campaign teams come as they trail the two frontrunners of the October 10 polls by a wider margin despite conducting rigorous campaigns in various regions of the country and pulling some serious crowds.
Cummings, who was expected to pose a serious challenge to President Weah and Joseph Boakai, as per the electoral body’s data, accumulated only 1,932 votes, which is 1.55%. This places Cummings in 6th place, far behind Edward Appleton, an unknown candidate who is in fourth place with 2,821 votes, representing 2.26%. The votes, according to the electoral body, represent the report from 392 of 5,890 polling places across the country, as announced on October 12.
As for Moniba, he is not only behind the two frontrunners but also behind other little-known candidates who did not campaign as aggressively as he did. His votes, as per NEC data on October 12, stand at 352, which constitutes 0.28%. The low vote counts have placed Moniba in 14th place, limiting his chances of appearing in the top five.
The President, who is currently trailing Boakai, has accumulated 49,510 votes, which is 39.6%, while Boakai is in the lead with 57,790 votes, representing 46.27%.
However, the Cummings campaign team believes that the numbers for Weah and Boakai may not reflect the actual votes cast.
The campaign noted that they are resolved to factually uncover and understand “what has actually happened” as they owe a duty to the people of Liberia “to do so.” “We are seeing this undemocratic trend at every polling center all across the country,” Brown said.
“This is compelling CPP partisans and supporters to conclude that results for the CPP Presidential Ticket may have been predetermined as opposed to reflecting the actual votes cast. Let there be no mistake: The outcome of the October 10 Elections must be seen by the people of Liberia to freely and fairly reflect their will. Nothing else can be acceptable,” he added.
As for Scott of the Moniba campaign, the issues raised so far are only a brief analysis of their concerns with the country’s just-ended electoral process. Scott, while urging his party supporters and all Liberians to remain peaceful and calm, promised to dig deeper into the issue and reveal the true motive behind the moves.
“From polling centers across Montserrado to other parts of the country, our fervent supporters and campaign workers are registering their anger and disappointment at results that do not reflect ours,” he said. “Even if others did not vote for the LINU ticket, they voted for LINU at these places in reliable numbers as voters well trained in the mechanics of voting so as not to register spoiled ballots.”
Source: Daily Observer