Crying Foul Now About the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections Is Not Smart Politics. It Is Selfishness and A Lack of Patriotism.

Posted October 30, 2023
by Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

Liberian political elites are good at ignoring the nation’s problems only to complain and protest later that the system they once embraced, and supported did not treat them fairly after the same system they supported all along handed them a major defeat.

Whether the issue is about national development, is corruption-related, or is about the October 10 presidential election, etc., these self-appointed political leaders with their self-described missions to rescue the country from the chaos of the past, to fix the dysfunction of the past, or to sweep away today’s national chaos with a symbolic broom, comes across as elections-era conversions not to be taken seriously.

From all indications, however, as noted by both national and international observers, the October 10, 2023, presidential and legislative elections proved to be free and fair absent of any major violence that tainted other elections of the past.
Even though some results were late due to criminal interference, technical glitches, and bad and inaccessible roads, the latter could have been avoided had the National Elections Commission, knowing the urgency and national implications, flown the ballot boxes by air to those faraway locations to avoid any possible delay that seemed to breed post-elections conspiracy theories of elections interference and manipulation by the Executive branch.

The blurred image of a partisan National Elections Commission presiding over an election whose results obviously would be challenged, and whose members were duly appointed by the incumbent who is seeking reelection, should have been challenged in the past and now by the opposition presidential candidates before these elections ever occurred, which now obviously, stirred a wholesome belief and a perfunctory nod that the various candidates care less about election reforms.

These presidential candidates or some gambled to win to maintain the status quo as a strategy, which is self-centered, egotistical, and unpatriotic and doesn’t fit the description of a statesman in a country where statesmen are difficult to come by in a time of national despair.

What if any of the individuals from the losing sides had won, do you think or believe the individual would be talking about conspiracies and recounting any votes today, after the elections?

Knowing that the nation’s centralized and nationalized elections system is a flawed one, this is the same Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., who ignored the problems and ran for president in 2017, and lost by 712,067 votes at 7.21%.

There are whispers or even open assertions that presidential candidate Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), who in the 2023 presidential election got a mere 29,613 votes nationally at 1.61%, and failed to win a single county in the nation’s 15 political subdivisions, and never came close to appearing in any top three votes count and hasn’t endorsed any of the top two leading candidates, is in the conspiracy theory mode murmuring about recounting the ballots from the recent national elections that he overwhelmingly lost.

Like most Liberians, I was glued to my computer, my television set and YouTube monitoring the vote tallies in real time as the Commissioners read them out loudly before a worldwide audience and were asked questions by news crews about the elections, glitches, and the various candidates.

The Liberian people, knowing this is one of the few rights they have in a government that cares very little about them and their rights, lined up overwhelmingly in record numbers to vote for their choice of candidate who they believed would represent their interests in the next six, seven and nine years in the Executive Mansion, the House of Representatives, and the Senate respectively.

However, as the press was asking these questions, and worldwide attention focused on Liberia, the elections Commissioners whom I am not fond of, not personally, but about policies and the dubious role of the Executive Branch of the Liberian government and previous ones, in my opinion, performed well this time under pressure and did their utmost best to make this year’s presidential and legislative national elections fair, and free of violence and major controversies.

This is coming from a critic of the National Elections Commission, and SECOM, which I have written about extensively on this page and in my many books, as outdated and too close and cozy to the President of Liberia, an incumbent who appoints the Commissioners and has manipulated members historically to carry the president’s water to ‘win’ another term.

I still maintain my position that the National Elections Commission be eliminated in its current form or altered from administering national elections to monitoring and enforcing the nation’s campaign and election laws.

I also maintain that a civic body comprised of civic leaders, business leaders, marketers, teachers from the nation’s schools, professors from colleges and universities, the clergy, and ordinary Liberians be appointed and empowered as a body to hold debates between the candidates, and the elections be partially or wholly funded by the national government, and the elections be decentralized with the various counties having a say in their own local elections.
I expect Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., the leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), and other leaders of political parties, to put their focus and energies into reforming the Liberian Election System for the next national elections.

As statesmen and stateswomen, I expect these individuals to fight vigorously for major reforms in the nation’s election laws and institutions and not wait until they are defeated in an election before protesting the unfairness of elections in Liberia.

This is not leadership.

These are manipulative and opportunistic politics. 


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