News / Africa

Liberia Election Commission Nomination Sparks Opposition Protest

Counselor Jerome KokoyaCounselor Jerome Kokoya
Counselor Jerome Kokoya
Counselor Jerome Kokoya
James Butty
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has nominated Counselor Jerome Kokoya as the next chairman of the country’s Elections Commission. 

But, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) said Kokoya’ s nomination should be withdrawn because he is a member of the ruling Unity Party.

CDC national chairman George Solo said his party will not participate in this year’s bi-election in Grand Bassa County if Sirleaf does not rescind the nomination of Kokoya. 

However, Kokoya said, while he once contested for a legislative seat on the ruling party’s ticket, it would not affect his role as election commission chairman. He said he’s legally qualified to be chairman.

 “As far as I know, I do not see any legal prohibition against appointing a qualified Liberian, such as myself, to head the elections commission simply because I have had political affiliation with another political party,” he said.

Kokoya admits that he did have affiliation with the ruling party for one year, but resigned in January 2012.  He also said he was a legislative candidate for the Unity Party in Bong County.

He said he does not disagree with the fear of opposition parties that, when the ruling party appoints members of the elections commission, those members may have the tendency to decide elections in favor of the ruling party.
Butty interview with Kokoya
Butty interview with Kokoyai
|| 0:00:00

But Kokoya said Sirleaf, who is serving her last and final term, has no incentive to appoint him just to decide the next election in the ruling party’s favor.

"That concern, I would not want to dismiss it.  It may true in certain places. But, the first thing I would like to say is that the president is now serving, by law, her last term.  So, even if I were called upon to cheat for the president, she would not need me to do so," Kokoya said.

He also said Sirleaf won the last two presidential elections in a convincing manner.  However, the opposition CDC said both the 2005 and 2011 presidential elections were fraudulent.

Butty interview with Solo
Butty interview with Soloi
|| 0:00:00

Kokoya said he is a person who, by nature, believes in fair play and would never cheat, if he were confirmed as chairman.

But, the main the opposition CDC said Sirleaf’s nomination of Kokoya was insulting to the democratic process.  CDC national chairman George Solo said the party will do everything in its power to disrupt the upcoming bi-election in Grand Bassa County.

"The nomination of Mr. Kokoya should be withdrawn.  There should be very clear consensus from political parties and civil society because those are the commitments that we made to make 2017 [presidential election] an inclusive and transparent process.  And, until that trend is respected, the Congress for Democratic Process will not participate, will not engage in the pre-electoral processes, and we will do everything in our power, including using the legislative branch of government and judicial branch of government, to put a stay order on the process," Solo said.

Solo said, if necessary, the CDC will resort to public pressure.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs