EDITORIAL: Let Us Fight Voter Trucking Now

FOR SOME TIME now every electoral season politicians and their enablers engage in what is referred to in the Liberian parlance, “Voters Trucking”, a situation where someone often under monetary inducement is taken from one constituency to another to be registered and vote for a particular candidate. In some extreme cases, the “TRUCKEE” is taken from one county to another county as a complete stranger to cast vote for the TRUCKER or Principal of the TRUCKER.

THE PERPETRATORS MAY have found solace in the fact that it is difficult to fight because there is no definite law that defines it as an offence which could be punishable with a penalty. Secondly, the “TRUCKEES” are under no compulsion to accept it because they are being paid and it cuts across political parties and politicians who are in contest where no one seems to have the guts or moral justification to oppose it.

FOR WHATEVER SIDE one decides to be, voters trucking has become a disincentive for our nascent democracy made possible after years of bloodbath during our civil war years. Perpetrators have succeeded over the years in foisting bad leaders on the people, especially lawmakers whose emergence was facilitated not by people from their constituencies but by others who have no interest in the constituencies where they voted.

HAVING GONE UNCHECKED over the years, this ugly political gimmick has taken another dimension which could be very dangerous to peace and stability as well as the overall national development goal of the country.

WHILE EVERY EFFORTS have been exerted to have a hitch free general election on October 10, 2023, the trucking of voters have assumed a rather violent posture, a situation that have claimed our attention which we have resolved to condemn in its entirety and call on the authority and stakeholders including the political parties and aspirants to take a decisive stand against this creeping threat on our democracy. Never in the history of our various electoral cycles have we seen this act being elevated to a violence enterprise intending to undermine whatever being put in place not to revisit our ugly past.

WE WISH IN this endeavor to draw the attention of all to the brewing crisis in District #10, Montserrado County which is a direct result of voters trucking and set up a confrontation between the ruling establishment and Representative Yekeh Kolubah in the unnecessary tussle for supremacy on which side takes the giant size of the electorates come October 10, 2023.

THE SITUATION IN District #10, Montserrado County, took a dangerous trend over the weekend when rival supporters clashed where individuals from both camps were openly wielding dangerous weapons thereby threatening the peace and security of the people. Video footage and photos emerging from the various scenes have been flooding the social and mainstream media sending the wrong signal that the ensuing election could be more chaotic and disturbing than we expect.

REPORTS FROM THE district have it that there is a serious atmosphere of fear that the worst is yet to come as both camps move to mobilize their supporters to get out to register for their respective voters card, a sure way of increasing the chances of winning the election. But of more concern is that what precipitated the violence act has to do with the alleged trucking of voters being carried out by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) as a way to outnumber the supporters of Representative Kolubah who has consistently opposed the ruling establishment.

INTERESTINGLY, WHILE GIVING an update on the ongoing voters registration exercise, the Chairperson of NEC, Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah mentioned incidents of voters trucking and the adverse impression it has on the exercise. Unfortunately, she fell short of stating decisive action being taken to curb this menace to our democracy and that alone did not show any assurance that the situation could be dealt with soon.

THE CRISIS IN District #10 could be just one of the possible many others that have not been reported due to perhaps the lack of media coverage but it tells us that more efforts are needed to be exerted by the government, NEC, the security agencies, political parties, our development partners and all others in order to have the free and fair election we all are clamoring to have on October 10, 2023.

WHILE OTHERS MAY believe that voter trucking is a difficult scheme to fight because there is no definite law to make it an offence, our concern has been the negative impact it has created on the anticipation for a violent free election everyone is talking about. That means to curb creeping incidents of violence that may spread, proactive action must be taken otherwise we may not be able to handle the aftereffects of what may happen.

VOTER TRUCKING IS never an incentive to enrich our democracy but a distraction created by anti-democratic forces to destroy what will benefit all of us and should be resisted. Let us defeat our selfish interest and collectively combat the scourge of voters trucking.

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