MONROVIA: The National Elections Commission (NEC) has continued counting of the Referendum ballots from the just-ended National Referendum with majority of the ballots pointing to ‘YES’ votes in eight counties.
Some of the counties in which electorate voted “YES” to the Propositions, according to the NEC, include Bomi, Margibi, Bong, Grand Cape Mount, Maryland, River Gee, River Cess and Grand Bassa.
Reacting to widespread public concern over the methodology used in the calculation of the Referendum Results, NEC’s Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Browne- Lasanah indicated that the Commission is abiding by Section 4A.4 of the Elections Law, which focuses on Referendum results.
The law, among other things, states that “The fraction of two thirds (2/3) required for approval of a question in a referendum is calculated by dividing the number of the valid votes cast in approval of the question by the total number of the valid votes cast on the questions.”
Madam Browne-Lassanah told the NEC regular news conference on Thursday that on September 20, 2011, the Supreme Court of Liberia held that invalid votes shall not be included in the sum of the total votes.
She added that “In keeping with the above, you get to the total valid votes cast by adding all of the ‘YES votes to all of the “No votes.”
The NEC Boss further disclosed that “Of this sum, you have to ascertain whether the YES votes on each proposition reach the two thirds requirement for approval. If they do, the proposition is approved. If not, the proposition is rejected.”
According to her, because the referendum is a national election, the “Yes” and “No” votes from the fifteen counties on each proposition must be added together to determine whether the YES votes reach the two-thirds requirement for approval.
“This process will be done for each of the propositions,” she discloses. However, in the face of a projected “YES” votes read by the country’s electoral body on the just ended process, the opposition community including the “Rainbow Alliance” has raised several issues relative to the referendum process.
Of late, the Alliance alarmed over the apparent delay in the past two days when early tally results, according to the group, showed a resounding “NO” across the country on all of the eight propositions. It is not clear how the Rainbow Alliance arrived at this position.
The opposition group has further alleged that its poll watchers reported that the elections magistrates of NEC have been observed cutting the ballot papers of the Referendum into eight different parts in the tally process contrary to the election laws of Liberia.
“We take exception to this action which we believe is illegal and lends itself to the possibility of a miscount and fraud,” the Rainbow Alliance asserted.
Liberians on December 8, 2020, woke up very early to stand in queues to participate in the Mid-term Senatorial Elections and 8-Proositions Referendum a well as two representative bye- elections for Sinoe and Montserrado Counties.
The referendum was aimed at amending some provisions of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, calling for reduction in the tenures of the President, Vice President, Senators and Representatives in the National Legislature as well as whether to vote YES or NO to dual citizenship.