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Pres. Sirleaf Decries Electoral Violence

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has decried electoral violence as counter-productive to the peace a stability of the nation.
According to an Executive mansion release issued Thursday, October 19, 2017, the government’s attention was been drawn to displays on social media of extremely inimical posts to the survival of Liberia’s peace and democracy.
The Liberian leader condemned in the strongest possible term the abuse and misuse of social media through the use of invective, hate speeches and outright vulgarities, which seek to denigrate adversaries with whom others supposedly might hold disagreement.
President Sirleaf said: “In light of the progress we have collectively made, I call on our fellow citizens to remain civil, responsible and continue to be tolerant of diverging opinions and views that might not necessarily be favorable to ours.”
The release noted: “Resorting to profanities on social media contributes nothing to the national discourse, but only serves to taint our national and international image and expressed government’s indignation to this unacceptable way of politicking and seek to continue the decent democratic values that have brought us this far as a nation and people.”
She said as Liberians pat themselves on the back for peacefully voting in the October 10 polls, all must continue to demonstrate our love for country by and through our actions.
“Our greatest task must focus on how we consolidate the democratic gains made over the last 12 years, by voting peacefully and nationalistically, respecting the law and keeping the peace for the greater good of our country,” she challenged all her compatriots.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has prayed God’s continued blessing upon our nation.

Repackaging: Campaign ‘Explosives’

 

By: Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

 “We expect re-enforced campaign strategies from both parties to convince Liberians to vote either way.  Bad politics will be played as we saw during the first round of the electoral process.  However, all that matters is a peaceful runoff, void of cheating and outside influence. Let Liberians decide who they want.”

The last battle over the Liberian presidency is expected to be decisively fought in two weeks, when the National Elections Commission (NEC) announces final results of the first round of the 2017 presidential and representative elections held in the country on 10 October.

By then, the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) will be the only political parties remaining in the race to campaign for a runoff.

Liberians who have voting right, evident by their 2017 voter registration cards, will be looked up to in deciding whether a CDC-led government is the best to lead Liberia for the next six years, or the ruling Unity Party deserves the gavel to enter a third term and steer the state of affairs under the second in command of the expiring 12 years of civil administration.

Senator George Weah, a football icon who has been defeated twice by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (outgoing), appears comfortable with his lead over Vice President Joseph Boakai in the first round of election thereby prompting staunch supporters of Weah to say majority of the Liberian people want a change of national leadership after Madam Sirleaf.

Nevertheless, VP Boakai is being seen as the best alternative for Liberia’s progress following the exit of President Sirleaf, and that Liberians should believe in his ability to deny Senator Weah taking over the mantle of power after Liberia’s third post-war presidential election.

Supporters of Boakai are of a strong conviction that someone experienced needs to be elected and with such advocacy, they think only the Vice President has the qualification to lead the country for now. But a contrary view comes from those supporting Senator Weah, who argue that VP Boakai is no longer energetic  to be given such power, and that after all,  it is unrealistic to give one party in a pluralistic democracy, a third term when a new  breed of leaders  for change is available.

As observed in 2005 and 2011, it is likely the campaign messages from both parties for the runoff will  appeal to the electorate to put the country above personal interest, but at the same time, the race will produce a battle ground for  a debate Liberians were made to listen to during past elections about ‘inexperienced  and experienced’ candidates.

On account of ‘inexperienced’ candidates, young Liberians who want generational change in national leadership are often targeted to be unprepared to be allowed to lead the country, a perception the youthful population cannot accept.

The opposite is the account of ‘experienced’ candidates; these are long-serving Liberian public servants who brag on their wealth of experience in the public and private sectors to be well suited for the national task.

As it stands, negotiations for political accommodations are said to be taking place  behind closed doors for losers of the presidential seat to either support CDC or UP in the runoff.

“We expect re-enforced campaign strategies from both parties to convince Liberians to vote either way.  Bad politics will be played as we saw during the first round of the electoral process.  However, all that matters is a peaceful runoff, void of cheating and outside influence. Let Liberians decide who they want,” one analyst indicated.

On the overall, a smooth transition in Liberia remains the hope every citizen  has in  sustaining democracy in the country, no matter who wins the presidency.

Weah, Boakai, McGill, Paye,  Sherman, Tarpeh, Koijee, Kpadeh

PUL Troubled Over Attack in Journalist’s Home

The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has called on authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to expeditiously investigate an arson attack on the home of Journalist Smith Toby last Wednesday.

Toby’s home was attacked early Wednesday by unknown men on the highway leading to the Roberts International Airport.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the Union noted that Toby is a political broadcast journalist who runs a fairly balanced prime time talk radio show and as well manages Okay FM. His radio station received commendations from section of the public for providing live coverage of campaign rallies for all front runners in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

“Smith Toby is one of the best known journalists and personalities on radio, striving to tell the full Liberian Story,” said PUL President Charles B. Coffey, Jr. “The investigation into the arson attack on the home of Toby must be exhaustive, credible, and the outcome released in a timely manner”.

Mr. Coffey described the attack as act of terrorism and urged the police to bring perpetrators of the crime to justice.

Wednesday’s arson attack on Toby’s home is the most evil of assaults recorded against journalists since political activities heated up in the country. “Also, Journalist James M. Karimu of Prime FM was brutally beaten by men believed to be supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change weeks ago,” the release indicated.

The Liberia National Police says it has dispatched a team of forensic examiners to the scene of the arson early Wednesday. Criminal investigation, the police said, is in advance stage on the attack.

Meanwhile, the PUL said it is rallying lovers of liberty to stand up against the attack, describing it as an attempt to cow the media in Liberia into self- censorship.

 

No Demonstrations Without Permit -Police Warns

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has warned against demonstrations without permit.

The New Liberia National Police Act of 2015 states that, “Prior to the holding of any special event in the form  of Demonstration, March or similar event in the public place, the organizers must notify the County Attorney in the County where the event is to take place. Where the event is to take place in Montserrado County, the Minister of Justice must be notified of said special event not less than Seven (7) days before the date of that special event.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, the LNP referred would-be demonstrators to the following provisions stipulated in the Act: S. 22.86 Maintenance of Public Order of the Liberia National Police Act.

  1. 22.86 (a) “Any person who desires to hold any special event in the form of demonstration, march or any form of protest or similar event in any public place shall notify the County Attorney in the County where the event is to take place of his or her intention not less than seven days before the date of the special event.”
  2. 22.86 (b) “Where the special event is to be held in Montserrado County, the notification shall be sent to the Minister and consultations require by this section shall be with the Inspector General of Police.”
  3. 22.86 (d) “Where the County Attorney, in consultation with the head of Police in the County, has reasonable grounds to believe that the special event, if held may lead to violence or endanger defense, public order, public safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedom of another person(s), he or she shall report the matter to the Minister and request the organizers to cancel or postpone the special event to any other date or to relocate the special event.

The LNP warning comes amid plans by opposition Liberty Party’s youth league to protest results of the October 10 polls on allegation of irregularities.

It was reported that, on Tuesday, Representative Byron Browne of the Liberty Party led a protest at a National Elections Commission (NEC) local office on Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Rep. Browne was heard on local media that the protest was in line with the Liberian Constitution and so there was no need to seek permission.

Police boss Gregory Coleman

 

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LCS, Partner Conduct Free Breast Cancer Screening

By Mafanta Kromah

The Liberia Cancer Society (LCS), in partnership with the SDA Cooper Hospital, is conducting a free breast cancer screening program focused on free breast exam and consultation to women and men between age 15 to 19.

Addressing a press conference Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the African Methodist Episcopal University Administrative Building in Monrovia, LCS Executive Director, Madam (Dr.) Dawn Cooper Barnes, noted that the first screening day will be conducted on Sunday October 22, 2017 at the SDA Cooper Hospital on 12th Street Sinkor.

Madam Barnes noted that the LCS in partnership with the Ministry of Health is committed to improving cancer treatment and saving lives, noting that the screening program for breast cancer is one of its types of community program to help make awareness on the issue of cancer to Liberian society.

She said upon the screening on Sunday, the team will move from community to community to offer the same service to as many people as it can reach.

Dr. Barnes also said they are in need of volunteers who can help reach the program in various communities, adding, “We need doctors who can help with the screening and training as well as others who can set up educate those coming for screening.”

She asserted that, “we hope that by training healthcare workers, they can start breast cancer screening program in their own communities.

She called on people who would like to be volunteers to visit the SDA Cooper Hospital or call cell number 0777551547.

At the same time, Dr. Gillian Seton, the general surgeon at the SDA Cooper Hospital, said that the screening program has three goals: raising awareness on breast cancer and counseling regarding any breast problems that will be found, teach women to get a yearly breast exam and to train more healthcare professionals to screen for breast cancer.

“Training will be provided at each screening day for licensed midwives, nurses and nurse aids and even physicians that want to gain more skills on cancer,” said Dr. Seton.

She continued: “We also hope to aid in identifying other breast problems such as infections and non-cancer knots in the breast, then providing counseling and advice on how to get the problem treated.”

Dr. Seton spoke of importance of women to do yearly examination, noting that there are small knots that can be found in the breast by the healthcare workers before the individuals themselves can feel the knot in their body.

She maintained that cancer is a very solemn and bad disease but can be treated based on the early diagnoses and treatment, adding that breast cancer starts when cells grow out of control and form a knot.

Dr. Seton explained that the symptoms of breast cancer include hard knot anywhere in the breast, swelling, thickening or dimpling skin, nipple drainage and retraction. She said at time there can be infection about cancer that makes it important for medical attention to be sought anytime one notices these signs.

She asserted that men can also be affected with breast cancer even though they have a very small amount of the tissue in the chests, maintaining that some can be inherited from family.

 

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SWAT Debunks Negative Reports On ‘Bella Luna’ Rice

A major Liberian rice importer, Supply West Africa Traders (SWAT) has termed as “slanted news,” report insinuating that a consignment of Bella Luna Indian Parboiled Long Grain Rice contaminated with harmful substance is headed to West Africa from an unknown destination.

The Chief Executive Officer of SWAT, George N. Nehme, has told journalists in Monrovia that information regarding the cereal grain is false, misleading and lacks any iota of true, indicating, “this is something that constantly comes from our detractors who have attempted to undermined gains we have made in this country.”

Chief Executive Officer Nehme used the opportunity to commend and gratify the Government and people of Liberia for a smooth and peaceful atmosphere afforded the company’s management since it resumed operation in Liberia.

From  customers’ point of view,   the cereal grain (Bella Luna Indian  Parboiled Rice Long Grain 5% Broken) is one of the most widely consumed staple foods and is perceived as a top premium brand from a trusted rice dealer with several years of delivering dependable and consistent quality.

Sources in the business community have also acknowledged that the company has the capacity to supply rice on the Liberian market throughout the year with the quantity and quality of the product fit for the market and is always available and channeled through its many distributors and retailers throughout the country.

A top source at the  Ministry of Commerce told the In Profile Daily Wednesday, October 18, 20 17, that  the Bella Luna Brand has been tested both locally and internationally and is guaranteed to satisfy consumers’ needs, noting, “they mostly prefer the cereal grain.”

Meanwhile, according to Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in Liberia, Rice, at 248 average grams daily per capital, is the only important source of cereal carbohydrates in the Liberian diet.

It is noted that imported rice is the lion’s share of rice availability in Liberia, having gone up 75% since 2011, now comprising almost 70% of rice consumption.

The rice importing industry is consolidated as four importers control around 95% of all rice imports in the country.

 

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Why Did The NEC Print 40% More Ballot Papers? (A Second Round Print)

 Although the elections is past and the nation awaits a grueling second round, I will be remiss if I did not ask this question, why did NEC print 3,053,435 when there are 2,183,194 registered voters? In a contentious second round, political operatives for the two sides need to use this as a must read if they did not read it before the elections.

Globally, there has never been a case where 100% of those who registered voted. Recent statistics provided by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) showed an average voter turnout of about 70%. Below are some statistics on voter turnout for 2016:

  1. USA – 57%
  2. Austria – 73%
  3. Benin – 66.13%
  4. Bulgaria – 56.28%
  5. Cape Verde – 35.48%
  6. CAR – 59%
  7. Chad – 65.95%
  8. Dominican Republic – 70%
  9. Guinea – 92%
  10. Ghana – 62%, and the list goes on.

Even our 2 recent elections showed the following:

  • Voter turnout 2005: 61%
  • Voter turnout 2011: 71.6%.

If we use these two election voter turnout data as a baseline, we can see that there is no reason to print contingency ballots of 40%. There is nowhere contingency can ever be in that range. Contingency are normally within 7-15% range, if necessary. No contingency is necessary in this case because the data speak for itself.

Worst-case scenario, if you print the total ballot of 2,183,194 (100% voter registration), the highest you will get, based on global turnout data, will be 92% (Eq. Guinea, Luxembourg, Australia, etc.). This still leaves you will 8% contingency for damaged ballot.

Is there something up your sleeves, Mr. Chairman? I am worried now because, the number of ballot papers printed, coupled with 2 missing voter centers on your published list for Margibi District #1 (Wouda and Newtown Stations) are evidential reason to be worried.

Political parties need to do few things here:

  • Ensure that NEC publishes the entire voter rolls and that only those registered at those centers be required to vote.
  • Validate all the polling stations in the country with the actuals in the field.

The NEC, through its Executive Director,  Lamin Leigh, in justifying the printing of 40% more ballot, provided the following justification:

  1. The ballot papers arrived in package of 500;hence, every polling station will receive 550 ballot papers.
  2. 3% of the total will be used as contingency. Please see calculation below as provided by the Executive Director:

550 (ballot papers ) X 5,390 (polling stations) = 2,964,500

2,964 X 3% (contingency) = 88,935

Total = 2,964,500 + 88,935 = 3,053,435

 

Here is a problem with their justification of each polling station receiving 550 ballots. Take the case of District #1 in Montserrado County with sample Precincts below.

 

No. Precincts Total Registration
30002 Goba Town Public School 733
30003 Sackie Town Public School 658
30028 Caresburg High School 1104
30029 Caresburg Adm. Building 999
30072 Crozierville Town Hall 1123
30101 Euphemial Barclay School 1305
30102 Morris Farm School 1596
30103 Blopa Public School 568
30104 Fendell Public School 553

 

Take the case of Goba Town Public School (30002) with two polling stations with 365 and 366 registrants per station. Each of these stations will receive 550 ballots papers, which means that Polling Station 1 will receive extra 185 ballots, while Polling Station 2 will receive extra 184 ballot papers, that 1/3 extra of the total ballot papers they are entitled to receive.  Let us take Fendell Public School with 553 registered voters. There are two polling stations with 276 and 277 registrants respectively. Each of these polling stations will receive 550 ballot papers based on the Chair and Lamin Leigh justification.  That has almost doubled the number of ballot papers they are entitled.

 

Twenty classic cases of providing more ballot papers than necessary and actually beat Mr. Leigh argument are as follow:

 

District #2Bomi County

3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95

 

District #1 Grand Bassa County

9117 Kutuahn School Building 101
9118 Kpawetro Town Palava Hut 82

 

District # 3 Grand Bassa County

09033 Glaygbo Bannie Palava Hut 88

 

District #3 Grand Cape Mount County

12058 Weima Town Hall 86

 

District #2 Grand Gedeh County

15012 Nyongbah Public School 127
15023 Beh Town Elem School 61
15031 Peah Elem. School 127

 

District #3 Maryland County

27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27063 Seator Town Hall 74

 

District #1 Montserrado

30432 C.H. Henry Public Sch. 197
30434 Hart Town Hall 154

 

District #9 Nimba County

33174 Troyah Public School 88

 

District #1 Gbarpolu County

45073 Monbili Private School 179

 

District #2 Gbarpolu County

45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43

 

District # 3 Gbarpolu County

45026 Galahun Town Hall 58

 

District # 3 Sinoe County

39044 Quoih – Duo Palava Hut 30

 

District # 2 River Gee County

42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160

 

These20 examples above demonstrate that the formula of 550 ballots per polling station is highly suspect. For Vassala Palava Hut for example, they will be receiving 550 ballot papers even though only 43 persons registered at this station. Same with Galahun town Hall. Even Quoih-Duo Palava Hut is received the same 550 ballots even though only 30 persons registered at that polling station. Henceforth, the NEC needs to give us the actual reason for overproduction and the 40% more ballot papers because the reason they provided does not hold water in his simplest form.

A sample of 569 Precincts (not polling stations) in 8 counties below showed a total of 158 polling stations (below) with less than 300 registered voters. That is 28% of the total polling stations in these counties. These polling stations will be receiving either double, triple or quadruple of the ballots. This is because NEC is giving 550 ballot papers to each polling stations even if you have 43, 44, 58, 31 or 12 registered voters as provided in the table below.

No. Precinct # Reg. Voters
GBARPOLU COUNTY
45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43
45027 Bombohun Town Hall 44
45026 Galahun Town Hall 58
45004 Beathou Town Hall 124
45063 Karmoh Town Palava Hut 129
45005 Domanmana Town Hall 154
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160
45016 Gbarkorma School 172
45028 Kelleh Town Hall 175
45073 Monbili Private School 179
45003 Beaden Town Hall 191
45048 Tawalata Town Hall 207
45029 Kpawolozu School 223
45066 Gainkpi Town Hut 226
45050 Manorwella Public School 227
45062 Lowoma Palava Hut 229
45075 Vanla Elementary School 236
45021 Gelekpasu School 239
45051 Tiggelee Town Hall 257
45064 Sarkpadeh Town Hall 258
45067 Tangata Palava Hut 258
45006 Marma Town Hall 267
45001 Ballah Town Public School 282
45025 Gungbe-ta School 295
GRAND KRU COUNTY
18025 Sobobo Public School 108
18053 Jarkakpoh Public School 132
18029 Boluwin Tonw Hall 160
18034 Niplaihkpo Public School 211
18020 Wedabo Beach School 212
18050 Beloken Town Hall 262
18039 Denteken Town Hall 276
18024 Warkpo Public School 283
18011 Neroh Public School 286
18041 Daykpoh Town Hall 286
18049 Money Camp 288
RIVERCESS COUNTY
36003 Gblor Church 134
36051 Dehgar School 148
36015 Dangrongbor Church 206
36043 Gbortoe Palavat Hut 214
36007 Suakon Dehbor Palava Hut 227
36052 Gorzohn Public School 227
36053 Toe’s Public School 289
SINOE COUNTY
39044 Quoih- Duo Palava Hut 31
39073 Commissioner’s House 86
39072 Kpeanbee Public School 135
39077 Gbliyee Public School 141
39070 Twah Community School 155
39067 Dordroken Public School 169
39004 Judu Town Public School 192
39045 Jalay Town Palava Hut 192
39026 Gboyee Town Palava Hut 207
39076 Komanah Public School 211
39081 Bleweeya Public School 218
39002 Kunwiah Palava Hut 219
39018 Boe Smaljilla Public School 219
39014 Joplokpo Palava Hut 226
39008 chebioh Palava Hut 231
39048 Sargbah Town Public School 244
39003 Kallor Town Palava Hut 246
39010 Pelloken Palava Hut 247
39075 Jokoken Elementary School 248
39007 Ceeter Palava Hut 253
39033 Menwah Palava Hut 254
39078 New VRC House 259
39079 Chewlue Public School 274
39058 Tournata Palava Hut 284
39080 William Dagbe Mem. School 287
39057 Wessay Town Palava Hut 290
MARYLAND COUNTY
27011 Nemeken Town Hall 12
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27046 Chiliken Elem. School 63
27063 Seator Town Hall 74
27007 Gbaewen Elem. School 128
27064 Sawtorken Town Hall 147
27061 Paugbaken Elem. School 149
27060 Sampson Goe Elem. School 154
27048 Gbiabosuken Town Hall 155
27031 Libsuco Comm. School 160
27015 Golobo Elem. School 161
27008 Gbeken Town Hall 168
27059 Martuken Town Hall 175
27029 Mission Town Hall 184
27051 Gorturken Town Hall 185
27066 Gwissiken Town Hall 200
27018 Little Wlebo Elem. School 208
27017 Kablaken Town Hall 214
27016 Spring Hill Yealu Elem. Sch. 230
27035 Worteken Town Hall 237
27019 Middle Town Hall 245
27081 New Half Graway Elem. Sch. 248
27021 Pedebo Elem School 278
27054 Dwejah Town Hall 282
27069 Henogbe Elem. School 293
27042 Boys Dormitory 294
27014 Div. 5 Camp 5 Palava Hut 296
RIVER GEE COUNTY
24026 Torroeken Town Hall 62
42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
42054 Betiken Public School 110
42051 Sallah Town Hall 128
42014 Yobloken Town Hall 145
42041 Kiabo Town Hall 179
42035 Seagboken Town Hall 184
42020 Juwelbo Public School 262
42038 Gedeken Town Hall 266
42027 Paaken Public School 267
42009 Taryaken Town Hall 268
42006 Yargbeken Public School 295
42037 Fletiken Town Hall 296
GRAND GEDEH COUNTY
15023 Beh Town Elem. School 61
15066 Sentrudu Elem. School 121
15065 Dehyealah Palava Hut 127
15012 Nyongbah Public School 128
15031 Peah Elem. School 128
15068 Jaibo Town Elementary School 130
15070 Dweh Elementary School 131
15069 John David Elem. School 133
15043 Togbayee Elem. School 138
15003 Buway Palava Hut 139
15014 Flah Palava Hut 165
15027 Jozon Elem. School 202
15046 Garley Town Pub School 211
15039 Tarloken High School 233
15053 Wulu Elem. School 237
15077 Zilaken Elem. School 245
15044 Tojallah Elem. School 247
15029 Gardueh Town Public School 252
15067 Blown Town Elementary School 264
15047 Gwein Town Public School 265
15073 Solo Elem. School 268
15006 Bodee Public School 270
15011 Dayblay Elem. School 289
15072 Gbayea Town Elem. School 291
15022 Glaplay Town Public School 294
BOMI COUNTY
3039 Gbakendu Palava Hut 93
3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95
3082 Galakpah Palava Hut 141
3021 Jeon School 152
3001 Baima Palava Hut 160
3082 Kamara Town Public School 180
3036 Geveh Fahnsee Palava Hut 218
3049 Zamian Town Palava Hut 220
3032 Managbokai Palava Hut 226
3079 Beagonah Town Public School 257
3081 Gbonkor Village Palava Hut 265
3053 Gogngweh Palava Hut 271
3077 Nyoundee Town Hall 279
3066 Zuwah Town Palava Hut 295
3050 Zohnbaimon Palava Hut 296

The NEC, as custodian of the ballot papers are either too lazy or busy to take a day or two (in the presence of Observers and other International Participants) open these packets of 500 and give to the polling stations what they actually deserved (along with about 10% contingency ballots). For example, the polling station with only 12 registered voters (Nemeken Town Hall), are receiving 550 ballot papers instead of say 20 ballot papers simply because NEC does not want to open any packet of ballots.We are calling on NEC to do right thing to bring integrity to the process.

 

 

Although the elections is past and the nation awaits a grueling second round, I will be remiss if I did not ask this question, why did NEC print 3,053,435 when there are 2,183,194 registered voters? In a contentious second round, political operatives for the two sides need to use this as a must read if they did not read it before the elections.

Globally, there has never been a case where 100% of those who registered voted. Recent statistics provided by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) showed an average voter turnout of about 70%. Below are some statistics on voter turnout for 2016:

  1. USA – 57%
  2. Austria – 73%
  3. Benin – 66.13%
  4. Bulgaria – 56.28%
  5. Cape Verde – 35.48%
  6. CAR – 59%
  7. Chad – 65.95%
  8. Dominican Republic – 70%
  9. Guinea – 92%
  10. Ghana – 62%, and the list goes on.

Even our 2 recent elections showed the following:

  • Voter turnout 2005: 61%
  • Voter turnout 2011: 71.6%.

If we use these two election voter turnout data as a baseline, we can see that there is no reason to print contingency ballots of 40%. There is nowhere contingency can ever be in that range. Contingency are normally within 7-15% range, if necessary. No contingency is necessary in this case because the data speak for itself.

Worst-case scenario, if you print the total ballot of 2,183,194 (100% voter registration), the highest you will get, based on global turnout data, will be 92% (Eq. Guinea, Luxembourg, Australia, etc.). This still leaves you will 8% contingency for damaged ballot.

Is there something up your sleeves, Mr. Chairman? I am worried now because, the number of ballot papers printed, coupled with 2 missing voter centers on your published list for Margibi District #1 (Wouda and Newtown Stations) are evidential reason to be worried.

Political parties need to do few things here:

  • Ensure that NEC publishes the entire voter rolls and that only those registered at those centers be required to vote.
  • Validate all the polling stations in the country with the actuals in the field.

The NEC, through its Executive Director,  Lamin Leigh, in justifying the printing of 40% more ballot, provided the following justification:

  1. The ballot papers arrived in package of 500;hence, every polling station will receive 550 ballot papers.
  2. 3% of the total will be used as contingency. Please see calculation below as provided by the Executive Director:

550 (ballot papers ) X 5,390 (polling stations) = 2,964,500

2,964 X 3% (contingency) = 88,935

Total = 2,964,500 + 88,935 = 3,053,435

 

Here is a problem with their justification of each polling station receiving 550 ballots. Take the case of District #1 in Montserrado County with sample Precincts below.

 

No. Precincts Total Registration
30002 Goba Town Public School 733
30003 Sackie Town Public School 658
30028 Caresburg High School 1104
30029 Caresburg Adm. Building 999
30072 Crozierville Town Hall 1123
30101 Euphemial Barclay School 1305
30102 Morris Farm School 1596
30103 Blopa Public School 568
30104 Fendell Public School 553

 

Take the case of Goba Town Public School (30002) with two polling stations with 365 and 366 registrants per station. Each of these stations will receive 550 ballots papers, which means that Polling Station 1 will receive extra 185 ballots, while Polling Station 2 will receive extra 184 ballot papers, that 1/3 extra of the total ballot papers they are entitled to receive.  Let us take Fendell Public School with 553 registered voters. There are two polling stations with 276 and 277 registrants respectively. Each of these polling stations will receive 550 ballot papers based on the Chair and Lamin Leigh justification.  That has almost doubled the number of ballot papers they are entitled.

 

Twenty classic cases of providing more ballot papers than necessary and actually beat Mr. Leigh argument are as follow:

 

District #2Bomi County

3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95

 

District #1 Grand Bassa County

9117 Kutuahn School Building 101
9118 Kpawetro Town Palava Hut 82

 

District # 3 Grand Bassa County

09033 Glaygbo Bannie Palava Hut 88

 

District #3 Grand Cape Mount County

12058 Weima Town Hall 86

 

District #2 Grand Gedeh County

15012 Nyongbah Public School 127
15023 Beh Town Elem School 61
15031 Peah Elem. School 127

 

District #3 Maryland County

27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27063 Seator Town Hall 74

 

District #1 Montserrado

30432 C.H. Henry Public Sch. 197
30434 Hart Town Hall 154

 

District #9 Nimba County

33174 Troyah Public School 88

 

District #1 Gbarpolu County

45073 Monbili Private School 179

 

District #2 Gbarpolu County

45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43

 

District # 3 Gbarpolu County

45026 Galahun Town Hall 58

 

District # 3 Sinoe County

39044 Quoih – Duo Palava Hut 30

 

District # 2 River Gee County

42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160

 

These20 examples above demonstrate that the formula of 550 ballots per polling station is highly suspect. For Vassala Palava Hut for example, they will be receiving 550 ballot papers even though only 43 persons registered at this station. Same with Galahun town Hall. Even Quoih-Duo Palava Hut is received the same 550 ballots even though only 30 persons registered at that polling station. Henceforth, the NEC needs to give us the actual reason for overproduction and the 40% more ballot papers because the reason they provided does not hold water in his simplest form.

A sample of 569 Precincts (not polling stations) in 8 counties below showed a total of 158 polling stations (below) with less than 300 registered voters. That is 28% of the total polling stations in these counties. These polling stations will be receiving either double, triple or quadruple of the ballots. This is because NEC is giving 550 ballot papers to each polling stations even if you have 43, 44, 58, 31 or 12 registered voters as provided in the table below.

No. Precinct # Reg. Voters
GBARPOLU COUNTY
45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43
45027 Bombohun Town Hall 44
45026 Galahun Town Hall 58
45004 Beathou Town Hall 124
45063 Karmoh Town Palava Hut 129
45005 Domanmana Town Hall 154
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160
45016 Gbarkorma School 172
45028 Kelleh Town Hall 175
45073 Monbili Private School 179
45003 Beaden Town Hall 191
45048 Tawalata Town Hall 207
45029 Kpawolozu School 223
45066 Gainkpi Town Hut 226
45050 Manorwella Public School 227
45062 Lowoma Palava Hut 229
45075 Vanla Elementary School 236
45021 Gelekpasu School 239
45051 Tiggelee Town Hall 257
45064 Sarkpadeh Town Hall 258
45067 Tangata Palava Hut 258
45006 Marma Town Hall 267
45001 Ballah Town Public School 282
45025 Gungbe-ta School 295
GRAND KRU COUNTY
18025 Sobobo Public School 108
18053 Jarkakpoh Public School 132
18029 Boluwin Tonw Hall 160
18034 Niplaihkpo Public School 211
18020 Wedabo Beach School 212
18050 Beloken Town Hall 262
18039 Denteken Town Hall 276
18024 Warkpo Public School 283
18011 Neroh Public School 286
18041 Daykpoh Town Hall 286
18049 Money Camp 288
RIVERCESS COUNTY
36003 Gblor Church 134
36051 Dehgar School 148
36015 Dangrongbor Church 206
36043 Gbortoe Palavat Hut 214
36007 Suakon Dehbor Palava Hut 227
36052 Gorzohn Public School 227
36053 Toe’s Public School 289
SINOE COUNTY
39044 Quoih- Duo Palava Hut 31
39073 Commissioner’s House 86
39072 Kpeanbee Public School 135
39077 Gbliyee Public School 141
39070 Twah Community School 155
39067 Dordroken Public School 169
39004 Judu Town Public School 192
39045 Jalay Town Palava Hut 192
39026 Gboyee Town Palava Hut 207
39076 Komanah Public School 211
39081 Bleweeya Public School 218
39002 Kunwiah Palava Hut 219
39018 Boe Smaljilla Public School 219
39014 Joplokpo Palava Hut 226
39008 chebioh Palava Hut 231
39048 Sargbah Town Public School 244
39003 Kallor Town Palava Hut 246
39010 Pelloken Palava Hut 247
39075 Jokoken Elementary School 248
39007 Ceeter Palava Hut 253
39033 Menwah Palava Hut 254
39078 New VRC House 259
39079 Chewlue Public School 274
39058 Tournata Palava Hut 284
39080 William Dagbe Mem. School 287
39057 Wessay Town Palava Hut 290
MARYLAND COUNTY
27011 Nemeken Town Hall 12
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27046 Chiliken Elem. School 63
27063 Seator Town Hall 74
27007 Gbaewen Elem. School 128
27064 Sawtorken Town Hall 147
27061 Paugbaken Elem. School 149
27060 Sampson Goe Elem. School 154
27048 Gbiabosuken Town Hall 155
27031 Libsuco Comm. School 160
27015 Golobo Elem. School 161
27008 Gbeken Town Hall 168
27059 Martuken Town Hall 175
27029 Mission Town Hall 184
27051 Gorturken Town Hall 185
27066 Gwissiken Town Hall 200
27018 Little Wlebo Elem. School 208
27017 Kablaken Town Hall 214
27016 Spring Hill Yealu Elem. Sch. 230
27035 Worteken Town Hall 237
27019 Middle Town Hall 245
27081 New Half Graway Elem. Sch. 248
27021 Pedebo Elem School 278
27054 Dwejah Town Hall 282
27069 Henogbe Elem. School 293
27042 Boys Dormitory 294
27014 Div. 5 Camp 5 Palava Hut 296
RIVER GEE COUNTY
24026 Torroeken Town Hall 62
42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
42054 Betiken Public School 110
42051 Sallah Town Hall 128
42014 Yobloken Town Hall 145
42041 Kiabo Town Hall 179
42035 Seagboken Town Hall 184
42020 Juwelbo Public School 262
42038 Gedeken Town Hall 266
42027 Paaken Public School 267
42009 Taryaken Town Hall 268
42006 Yargbeken Public School 295
42037 Fletiken Town Hall 296
GRAND GEDEH COUNTY
15023 Beh Town Elem. School 61
15066 Sentrudu Elem. School 121
15065 Dehyealah Palava Hut 127
15012 Nyongbah Public School 128
15031 Peah Elem. School 128
15068 Jaibo Town Elementary School 130
15070 Dweh Elementary School 131
15069 John David Elem. School 133
15043 Togbayee Elem. School 138
15003 Buway Palava Hut 139
15014 Flah Palava Hut 165
15027 Jozon Elem. School 202
15046 Garley Town Pub School 211
15039 Tarloken High School 233
15053 Wulu Elem. School 237
15077 Zilaken Elem. School 245
15044 Tojallah Elem. School 247
15029 Gardueh Town Public School 252
15067 Blown Town Elementary School 264
15047 Gwein Town Public School 265
15073 Solo Elem. School 268
15006 Bodee Public School 270
15011 Dayblay Elem. School 289
15072 Gbayea Town Elem. School 291
15022 Glaplay Town Public School 294
BOMI COUNTY
3039 Gbakendu Palava Hut 93
3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95
3082 Galakpah Palava Hut 141
3021 Jeon School 152
3001 Baima Palava Hut 160
3082 Kamara Town Public School 180
3036 Geveh Fahnsee Palava Hut 218
3049 Zamian Town Palava Hut 220
3032 Managbokai Palava Hut 226
3079 Beagonah Town Public School 257
3081 Gbonkor Village Palava Hut 265
3053 Gogngweh Palava Hut 271
3077 Nyoundee Town Hall 279
3066 Zuwah Town Palava Hut 295
3050 Zohnbaimon Palava Hut 296

The NEC, as custodian of the ballot papers are either too lazy or busy to take a day or two (in the presence of Observers and other International Participants) open these packets of 500 and give to the polling stations what they actually deserved (along with about 10% contingency ballots). For example, the polling station with only 12 registered voters (Nemeken Town Hall), are receiving 550 ballot papers instead of say 20 ballot papers simply because NEC does not want to open any packet of ballots.We are calling on NEC to do right thing to bring integrity to the process.

 

 

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‘Lesser Evil’ Theory -Will It Hold?

By: Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.comAs a run-off presidential election is almost a full gone

conclusion in the 2017 elections, a ‘lesser evil’ theory which was reportedly used as a tramp card during runoffs for a two –term regime of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to be resurfacing in Liberia.

In several quarters, Liberians who are supporting Vice President Joseph Baokai to succeed President Sirleaf are said to be poised to begin the debate in their splinter groups to portray VP Boakai as the lesser evil as compared to Senator George Weah when it comes to who should be preferred for the Liberian presidency.

The theory worked against what was previously the Congress for Democratic Change but now Coalition for Democratic Change, in the past two presidential and legislative elections held in 2005 and 2011 when the ruling Unity Party consistently remained in the lead  and finally won the presidency in succession.

However,  opposition political parties, though have been greatly divided over  coming together to form a formidable force to take on the ruling Unity Party in the ongoing elections for the presidency,  the expected runoff between the CDC and UP which has a twist in the party that is in the lead is being interpreted differently around Liberia.

From opposition bloc, the fact that CDC is leading UP demonstrates that Liberians in the majority are wearied about the continuity of the ruling party and that it is time for a new breed of leadership to take over the mantle of power from the Ellen-led regime.

Vehemently, supporters and sympathizers of the ruling UP have maintained that a CDC-led government will not ensure building on the progress the Sirleaf-led administration has made over the years except a Boakai-led regime.

Difficult though, among 18 opposition parties that took part in the elections, how many intend to support the CDC or UP in the runoff seems to be critical to predict.

The difficulty in this prediction stems from past experiences during the 2005 and 2011 elections when supporters of opposition parties who could not go for runoffs could not be policed to votes for candidates their presidential candidates preferred at the time.

Meanwhile, it is expected that in days to come before the conduct of the runoff, the two parties now in the race will fiercely campaign and there are reports that negotiations are already taking place behind closed doors as CDC and UP seek support from parties now out of the race.

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EPA Releases Findings On Alleged Polluted Water In Bong

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Crisis Management Team have discovered  the MNG uncontrolled discharge of slurry that contains high concentration of cyanide.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the September 27, 2017 intervened into rupture of a section of the geo-membrane of the Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) which occurred at the MNG Gold Mining site in Kokoya Bong County, the situation that resulted into an uncontrolled discharge of slurry containing high concentration of cyanide to the Sein Creek.

Speaking at a press conference in the conference hall of the EPA on Tuesday October 17, 2017, the Executive Director, Urias S. Goll, noted that upon the visit of the technicians from the Crisis Management Team (CMT), they were able to discover that no free cyanide was detected in the Sein Creek, which had a concentration levels of 0.310ppm.

During the first trip by the team they observed that cyanide is a chemical that is used to clean and move gold from its ore and also used to exterminate pests and vermin in ships and buildings.

He noted that from the investigation, the team discovered that out of the six hand pumps that were assessed, there was no indication of cyanide concentration on impact to the ground water.

Goll said unlike the previous assessment, the free cyanide level has decreased by 44% from the 0.966ppm to 0.54ppm within the TSF, “It can be acceptable considering the limit is 50mg/l in TSF according to international cyanide management code,” he said.

It can be recalled that 34 persons were reported hospitalized at the Phebe Hospital upon the occurrence of the rupture, but the Director has stated that out of the 34, six persons are still in the care of the MNG because they need further examination, adding that the rest have been discharged without any complication. “We have not received the latest report from the six persons but will inform the public once the doctor submits the details of the examination,” he noted.

Goll maintained that the EPA has given the MNG the responsibility to provide food for the community, noting that based on their request to the entity, the MNG has provided 300 bags of rice, four cartoons of chicken, three cartoons of beef and four poll tank to supply clean and safe water to the community for the month of October.

However, the EPA and the CMT have authorized the MNG to take two immediate actions which call for the MNG to dewater the TSF that holds about 300,000 cubic meters of water under strict compliance with the International Finance Corporation standards and the Water Quality Guidelines of Liberia.

According to him, a third party has been hired to conduct compliance testing and monitoring during the dewatering process. “This dewatering process is intended to assess the full damage of the TSF in order to ensure comprehensive rehabilitation and repair,” he stressed.

Goll also explained that the MNG will construct a mini-dam (TST) as interim to continue operation while the current TSF is being adequately repaired, noting that the mini-dam is also part of the expansion plan developed by the MNG for the near-term future. “The CMT will again visit the site on the 19 of this month to continue its investigation,” he concluded.

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“Make Hand-washing Part of Life” -Margibi Official on Global Hand Washing Day

A program in observance of the 9th anniversary of Global Hand-washing Day has taken place in Kakata, Margibi County with calls for Liberians to add regular hands washing to their ways of life if they are to remain safe from water-borne related diseases.

The Global Hand Washing Day celebration interspersed with parade by students through the principal streets of Kakata and an indoor event where students preformed dramas and songs depicting messages on the importance of regular hands washing.

The Global Hand Washing Day celebration held under the theme: “Our Hand Our Future” was organized by the faith-based organization, Living Water International (LWI) under the auspices of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) WASH in School Project.

Mr. Joshua Robinson, Margibi County Assistant Superintendent for Development Serving as the keynote speaker at Global Hand Washing Day celebration on Monday, October 16, 2017, said the day which was first commemorated in 2018 was basically set aside by the world in order to create awareness globally on the importance and benefit of hand washing.

He intimated that this idea was triggered because people across the world were not see the necessity of regularly washing their hands after every minute of interactions with others.

The Margibi County Assistant Superintendent for Development reminded the audience at the Global Hand Washing Day celebration, graced predominately by students, that the human hands on a daily basis contain germs and other diseases due to interactions with others through handshakes and attendance to the toilet.

He recommended that as people on a daily basis engage in handshakes and attendance to the toilet or restroom to always remember to wash their hands regularly to avoid contacting germs and diseases which are recipes for water-borne related sicknesses.

He, however, warned that water-borne diseases are life threatening adding that they are acquire through people refusal to regularly wash their hands and they are not of  witchcraft.

For his part, Living Water International (LWI)-Liberia Country Director, Austin Nyaplue disclosed that the Global Hand Washing Day celebration in Kakata is in furtherance of activities forming part of his organization implementation of UNICEF-WASH in School project currently working with about 25 schools in Kakata District in Margibi County.

Mr. Nyaplue asserted that as it is necessary to integrate hygiene and sanitation promotion with other programs, against such background, the LWI is currently involved with the establishment of School Health Clubs and construction of sanitation and hygiene facilities on the campuses of the 25 partners’ schools in Margibi County.

The Living Water International (LWI)-Liberia Country Director revealed that his organization is facing serious challenge in the implementation of the UNICEF-WASH in School project as students of these schools are not staying in schools for the required time on a daily basis, thus making it difficult for his team to adequately train the students on the WASH and sanitation promotion in their respective schools.

He at the same time recommended the need for the students and schools authorities to take the responsibility of maintaining the constructed sanitation and hygiene on the campuses if only the WASH and sanitation promotion in their schools are to be sustainable.