- Internal Affairs Minister Accused

By: Helroz Zorleh


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 16, 2006


Traditional chiefs who recently gathered in Gbarnga, Bong County to elect the head of Traditional Council of Liberia have described the entire exercise as undemocratic.

Speaking through their spokesman, Chief Flomo Yeke of Zorzor District, they (chiefs) disclosed that the elections were characterized by a scheme allegedly designed by Internal Affairs Minister Amdulai Johnson in order to undermine their chances.

According to them, the minister succeeded in rigging the election in favor of Zanzan Karwar, now serving as a new chairman of Traditional Council of Liberia.

The participation of Zanzan Karwar as contestant in the elections, the aggrieved chiefs said, questions the fairness of the elections as such elections in past regimes of former Liberian leaders were set aside for chiefs and not zoes. “Zanzan Karwar is a zoe, not a chief,” the chiefs’ spokesman said.

According to Chief Yeke, the elections which supposed to be free and fair as well as transparent, did not meet that standard as electorate were compelled to cast ballot as lately as 3:00 a.m; while candles were used in place of electricity which made it difficult for them to see the ballot papers. He said they were all nodding their heads at the same time casting ballots.

“We will not honor the Council Elections results because the elections were not free and fair,” Chief Flomo Yeke further noted. He said the chiefs have vowed to see President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on the matter.

When contacted Monday, the Minister was said to have been out of the country. Also, when his Special Assistant Allison Barco’s office was approached to comment on the issue, The FORUM reporter was told that he was out of office attending academic matters.

Meanwhile, several persons believed to be chiefs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs who begged for anonymity, admitted frauds in the recently held Traditional Council elections.

One chief who hails from Maryland County said, “Minister Johnson has to take time because elections were not free and fair especially under the condition we cast our ballots.”

Another chief from Sinoe County also said, “We can’t talk all my son but big hands were in the elections; it was not free elections.” But another source at the ministry said the elections were free and fair, adding “we had representatives from the National Elections Commission who monitored the process.” All efforts to get Zanzan Karwar for comment proved fruitless.

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