MONROVIA: A conglomeration of seven opposition political parties, under the banner: Rainbow Alliance, has expressed dismay over the prolonged tallying of the results from the Referendum, which according to Alliance, are being manipulated by Election Magistrates of the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The Rainbow Alliance, in a statement said, “In the first instance, we are alarmed over the fact that the tally of the Referendum votes has been delayed in the past two days when early tally results showed a resounding NO across the country on all of the eight proportions that the NEC had unilaterally manufactured in the absence of a new Gazette and which we have stated is in contravention of the Liberian constitution.”
Liberians on December 8, 2020, woke up very early to stand in queues to participate in the Mid-term Senatorial elections and National Referendum.
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.
However, in its statement, the Alliance said the NEC appears to be focusing more on the release of the tally of the Senatorial votes and leaving out the referendum votes.
It maintains that the respective votes were cast concomitantly and as such, both votes should be tallied and released concomitantly.
The Alliance said, its poll watchers reported that the elections magistrates of NEC have been observed cutting the ballot papers of the Referendum into eight different pieces in the tally process.
“We take exception to this action which we believe is illegal and lends itself to the possibility of a miscount and fraud,” the state added.
The Rainbow Alliance mentioned that all eight propositions were printed on a single ballot paper on which voters marked YES or NO.
The Alliance further asserted that cutting the ballot papers into pieces is wrong and that the referendum should not be manipulated “as our poll watchers told us.”
The statement, under the signature of the Alliance’s National Vice Chairman for Public Affairs, Lawrence Gboyah, among other things stated that the ballot paper should remain intact during the tally process. According to the Alliance, any ballot paper seen to be mutilated by elections magistrates must be considered invalid.
“We therefore call on the National Elections Commission to be speedy and transparent in the tallying of the Referendum vote results which we see as equally important as the vote results of the Senatorial elections….We demand that our party representatives be allowed to inspect all referendum ballot papers during the counting process to ensure that they have not been mutilated or manipulated by elections magistrates,” the statement added.
Prior to the holding of the Special Senatorial Elections and National Referendum, Liberians across the country were entangled in a debate over a ruling from the Supreme Court regarding the conduct of the process.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission (NEC) recently said in Monrovia that the referendum ballot papers are still being processed. NEC did not, however, say when the outcomes of the national referendum will be released to the Liberian public.
Already, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and the Rainbow Alliance have announced their boycott of the votes on the referendum prior to December 8, 2020, citing a number of irregularities including the lack of mass public awareness and education on the 8-propositions referendum.