Liberians are generally in agreement that a sustained peace requires a solid democratic foundation, beginning with the conduct of a credible, free, fair and transparent electoral process. The call for a cleanup of the 2017 Voters roll, which has been largely championed by the opposition bloc, is now gaining traction from all facets of the Liberian public, with the clergy now joining the hue and cry for the National Elections Commission to do the right thing, if peace and security must be sustained and maintained in postwar Liberia. The President of the Liberia Council of Churches, Rev. Kortu K. Brown, has added his two-cents piece to the debate.
“If cleaning the voters roll helps ensure free, fair and inclusive elections then there is nothing wrong with cleaning the voters roll. Cleaning the voters roll benefits all political parties and the nation in general,” Reverend Brown remarked on his social media feed regarding preconditions for conducting the pending midterm senatorial and referendum elections.
The voters roll, Rev. Brown intimated, is like the Teacher’s Master Grade Sheet wherein the grades must reflect the actual numbers scored by the student.
“The teachers’ master grade roll should not include names of students not registered in the school or who have already left the school. People who do double registration in any school are always booked and penalized,” Rev. Brown asserted.
Continuing, the Liberian cleric said the country deserves a credible voter roll where names are factual and the roll is acceptable to all, especially the participating groups.
“A credible voters roll is a recipe for sustainable peace and it’s unfortunate the National Elections Commission hasn’t fully prioritized exposing the country to further unnecessary wrangling and interference. We strongly urge the NEC to prioritize this exercise so the country refocuses on the December 8 election,” Rev. Brown pleaded, while urging the NEC to be assertive in mobilizing civil society and other national and international actors to ensure the cleanup process is done in a timely manner.
The Supreme Court, Rev. Brown further cautioned, must ensure that its mandate of 2017 is enforced if its regulations are to be taken seriously by ordinary Liberians and residents within Liberia.
The call for the voters’ roll cleanup by Rev. Brown comes against the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court decision to deny a Writ of Prohibition filed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) compelling the NEC to clean up the 2017 Voters’ Roll. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court denial of the CPP Writ of Prohibition, the CPP subsequently announced a sustained nonstop nationwide peaceful action last week.
Consequently, the Supreme Court has now placed a stay order on electoral activities pending the outcome of a hearing into the Writ of Prohibition.