Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dr. Tarr Challenges NEC’s Prediction that 2.9 Million Will Vote in 2011 Elections

- Stephen Byron Tarr,

Source: FrontPage Africa

An Open Letter To The International Contact Group On Liberia

Recently, local newspapers reported the baseless prediction, allegedly by the chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), that 2.9 million of Liberia’s 2008 population of 3.5 million (82%) will vote n the 2011 general and presidential elections. Granted, with the population growing at the unhealthy 2.8% rate annually, the 2011population will far exceed 3.5 million. [A 2.8% annual growth rate is unhealthy because at that growth rate, the population will double in fewer than forty years. Given the unemployment rate at present, Liberians are unlikely to make poverty history under those conditions. But then perhaps I am wrong, since the Government’s statistician told the Cabinet Retreat in Buchanan that only 3% of the population is unemployed.] Be that as it may, since publication of Chairman Fromayan’s prediction that 82% of the 2008 population would be eligible to vote, neither the Commission nor Mr. Fromayan has denied it.


"That the NEC and its financial and technical backers (members of the International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL) seem oblivious to the chairman’s alleged prediction of voter participation that contradicts the demographics of Liberia. Is the ICGL aware of what is happening in La Cote d’Ivoire?"

The NEC has also, in contravention of the Constitution as revealed by a number of persons, stipulated that voters registration will be conducted before constituencies are demarcated, although one can only vote where registered and a registrant would not know where s/he will vote at registration under the NEC scheme.

Fromayan’s prediction and the Commission’s refusal to ensure the rule of law, each act by itself or combined, fuel rumors that plans may exist to import voters from Guinea, La Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone as the demographics revealed by even the flawed census results contradict that 82% of the population would be 18 years of age and above. Voters not registered in the constituency in which they then wish to vote would be disqualified, and persons imported from the neighboring countries would then make up what would otherwise be the shortfall in number of projected voters.

Which voters registered willy-nilly, that is, before constituencies have been demarcated, would be disenfranchised? Those voters most likely to be denied the right to vote, because they are not registered to vote in their chosen constituency, are likely to be persons desiring to vote for opposition parties. The conclusion is logical, given several reasons, not excluding the fact that all members of the Commission are nominated by the flag bearer of a contesting party. That the NEC and its financial and technical backers (members of the International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL) seem oblivious to the chairman’s alleged prediction of voter participation that contradicts the demographics of Liberia. Is the ICGL aware of what is happening in La Cote d’Ivoire?

Given the fragility of the peace, this letter appeals to the National Elections Commission and especially the ICGL to recognize that the projection that 82% of 3.5 million Liberians will vote in the 2011 elections and that constituency demarcation will follow, not precede, voters registration smell like a plan by the NEC to worsen the fragility of the peace the ICGL brokered and has financed.

The rest of this letter documents the contentions stated above, and are offered in the hope that the ICGL will, if only in this case and no other, choose to proactively intervene to arrest the speeding resumption of political activities rooted in acute centralization of power in the president, entrenchment of rent seeking bureaucracy, the growth of poverty, growing inequity in income and wealth distribution and shrinking equality of access to opportunities, over its traditional modus operandus of intervening after conflict has begun. The rest of this letter documents my contentions.

Flawed Census: this conclusion is logical, given that its findings were rejected by the Legislature. The Threshold Bill the Legislature and the Executive departments of government negotiated is the evidence and explains what we mean when we say the 2008 census was flawed.

Liberian demographics: To vote in Liberia, a citizen must be 18 years or older. The census did not find or project 82% of the population to have been or will be 18 years or older by the time of the 2011 elections.

All efforts need be made to prevent the recurrence here of the situation in the Ivory Coast. That situation has been fomented by the role of ruling party loyalists on the “Independent” Electoral Commissions.


Stephen Byron Tarr,

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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