E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor
Source: The New Dawn
It's now increasingly clear that the attainment of a two-thirds majority from any of the four propositions in the recent National Referendum is far fetch with 4,418 polling places or 99.1% of the total votes cast yet unable to see any of the propositions receiving a two-thirds vote to effect an amendment in the Liberian Constitution.
The emerging figures have prompted the opposition to claim victory over the ruling party. CDC Campaign Coordinator Senator Jewel Haward Taylor told a local radio talk show Monday that the figures were a sign of victory for the opposition. Her view was backed by Liberty Party Chairman, a supporter of the Yes camp.
Announcing the fourth installment of provisional results in a press conference at the National Elections Commission headquarters in Monrovia Monday, NEC Chairman James Fromayan, reports that Proposition (1) total 'Yes' votes stand at 288,058, while 'No' votes have mounted to 243,567 with total invalid votes recorded at 76,069.
According to Fromayan, total 'Yes' votes for Proposition (2) stand at 218,179, with 'No' votes at 317,957, and invalid votes registering 71,554. The NEC boss further announced that 'Yes' votes for Proposition (3) have recorded 303,250, while 'No' votes stand at 231,738 with invalid votes amounting to 72,702. Formayan reports that Proposition (4) has attained 359,545 'Yes' votes and 172,608 'No' votes with 75,537 invalid votes respectively.
He said total voters for the polling places reported stand at 607,690 with voters' turnout registering 33.8 percent.
"Polling places yet to be reported total 39. The commission will announce final results on Wednesday, August 31, 2011", Fromoyan added. Giving the latest update from the NEC, it appears difficult, if not impossible, for a proposition to obtain a two-thirds vote as constitutionally required.
Speaking to reporters right after Chairman Fromayan's press briefing, the Vice Standard Bearer of the opposition National Democratic Coalition (NDC) Representative Lawrence Dusty Wolokollie, indicated that both the ruling Unity Party and the opposition Liberty Party have lost a great political battle, which is a litmus-test for the impending general and presidential elections.
"The ruling party should now be aware that Liberians are tired with this regime, and as you see, they lost the referendum already, which protects their Standard Bearer Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf", Wolokollie noted.
However, the National Chairman for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) Dr. Marcus Dahn has strongly differed with the NDC's Vice Standard Bearer, stressing that the 2011 National Referendum cannot be described as a litmus-test for the ensuing elections.
According to Dr. Dahn, Liberians have willingly exercised their constitutional duties, and that the government respects their views, but when it comes to the presidency, he said, the choice is already made by Liberians that the only option for now is Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.