In Liberia, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change party is boycotting this month’s constitutional referendum, in part, because it questions the neutrality of Electoral Commission chairman James Fromayan, a long-time supporter of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Fromayan says he set aside party affiliation on taking charge of the electoral commission and could not influence the outcome of a vote even if he wanted to, because results are read out at each polling station. “I can’t add one or subtract one from whatever result that comes because people will notice it,” Fromayan said. “They already know, have the results, sometimes they have the results before we can come to announce it.”
Congress for Democratic Change Secretary-General Acarous Gray says the party lost confidence in Fromayan when he co-chaired the commission during the last presidential vote.
The party says its candidate, former footballer George Weah, beat President Sirleaf because voters did not want what Gray calls an “autocratic presidency” that has been less interested in national reconciliation than in keeping power by rigging elections.