Dear Chairman Steve Wonplo &
Members of the Election Committee:
EDMONTON AB, AUGUST 6, 2015 2015—We have received your communication about your intent to hold election on Saturday, August 8, 2015 despite numerous communications advising you to remain engaged with all stakeholders and be inclusive in the electoral process.
We wholeheartedly welcome the idea of having election for the Liberian Friendship Society of Canada. However, we strongly opposed any elections in which the Election Commission (EC) will be responsible for verifying registration list, deciding who meets the constitutional requirements to run for elected office, collecting money for elections, deciding how much money to allocate to itself for election related expenses and be the final arbiter of any election related complaints and disputes. Your action is in direct violation of the constitution (i.e. Article II Section 4 & Articles III, IV and V ) and the agreement reached at the Africa centre meeting.
We want to remind you that transparency, inclusiveness and accountability are key principles that are fundamental for electoral integrity. These principles help to prevent electoral improprieties, illegalities and ensure public confidence in the process. They allow voters and other stakeholders a means to verify that the process is professional, impartial and genuine and that the results are an accurate reflection of the will of the people.
As per the agreement reached at the meeting facilitated by the Africa Centre, a representative of the John Gaye Administration and Team Savice were supposed to be part of the process leading to the election (e.g. work with EC/other stakeholders to help confirm which of the candidates have met the six- month registration deadline, collect registration payments and help ensure that the total number of voters match the amount of money collected). Upon completion of a free and fair election, the John Gaye Administration would then turn over to the winners of the election.
To the surprise of many stakeholders, you have deleted the current Administration from your mailing list; you have refused the Administration’s participation in the electoral process and have stopped all communications and consultations with the Administration and Team Savice. Moreover, you and your allies have appointed facilitators/interim leaders to help you execute a sham election. We must applaud Mr. Powoh for exercising good judgement by quitting this bogus process. We urge others to exercise similar wisdom.
As the election process now stands, the EC has bestowed upon itself the power of a judge, jury and the executioner. The current process lacks transparency. Under these conditions, free and fair election is not possible. If EC continues on its current course, the election result will not be honoured by the Liberian Community of Edmonton and by Team Savice. Our advice is not an attempt to dissuade you from serving your community, but to help ensure electoral integrity, public confidence and the peaceful co-existence of members of the community.
Team Savice hopes that you will address these issues before proceeding to election. If these issues are not adequately addressed, Team Savice will not participate in the election and the election results will not be recognized.
Sincerely Team Savice,
CC: The Africa Centre
Mr.John Gaye , President, Liberian Friendship Society of Canada
Mr. Ralph Geeplay, Secretary, Liberian Friendship Society of Canada
Ms. Amanda Early, Financial Secretary, Liberian Friendship Society of Canada
Mr. Harrison Tenneh Powoh
Mr. Nathaniel Bimba
Pastor Glory Blamo
Mr. Stanley Kphan
The Liberian Friendship Society of Canada
Signed: James Nimley & Solomon Davis
Pic: Emmanuel Savice, a former Liberian Journalist and reporter