Monrovia – The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has called on the Liberian Government to close the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone to prevent the alleged trucking of Sierra Leoneans into Liberia to register for the pending senatorial elections.
According to the Executive Director Oscar Bloh, the closure of the border will minimize the ongoing tension surrounding the allegations of Sierra Leoneans being trucked into country for the Voter Registration Update (VRU).
Director Bloh made the call Friday at a Press Conference as the ECC observes that the first week VRU has been characterized by a breach in the New Elections Law which has created the environment for the occurrence of electoral violence notably in Cape Mount and Bomi counties and heightened unnecessary political tension in the nation.
He noted that the overall report from ECC observers showed that the VRU has commenced across the entire country, but the process did not start simultaneously on September 11, 2020 in all the 73 electoral districts namely, Maryland, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Rivergee, Districts 6 and 9 in Nimba and District 5, Montserrado County.
According to him, the ECC condemns the trucking of voters and wish to inform the public that these actions contravene section 10.1a of the New Elections Law which prohibits the trucking of voters and practice constitutes an electoral offense and is punishable by fine or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
Director Bloh pointed out that the ECC notes that the trucking of voters which goes with financial benefit and other forms of financial inducement to mobilize support and calculated attempts by politicians to unduly influence the outcome of the results of the December 8, 2020 elections.
He noted that these practices amount to the commercialization of Liberia’s fragile democracy and undermine the principles of electoral integrity, credibility and legitimate representation of citizens at the National Legislature.
He stressed that the National Elections Commission (NEC) should conduct an immediate investigation into voters trucking and prosecute the doers in keeping with due process of law as this behavior has the propensity to undermine the peace and security of the country.
Director Bloh maintained that security agencies should be on the alert to ensure that all individuals arrested for violent actions during the VRU are held to account in keeping with due process of law, noting that this will instill deterrence and reduce impunity.