…Former TRC Commissioner Alleges
Six months before presidential and representative elections are held in Liberia, the head of the National Election Commission (NEC) Jerome Korkoya has come under attack from a very knowledgeable personality who claimed that the chairman holds a U.S. citizenship; therefore, he’s not legally competent to preside over the 2017 elections.
John Stewart, a former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), said the laws of Liberia do not support dual citizenship or make no provision whatsoever for dual citizenship, neither does the law recognize dual citizenship.
Mr. Stewart posted his statement and the U.S. passport supposedly bearing the name and photograph of Chairman Korkoya on his facebook page.
However, when the Commission’s head of Public Affairs was contacted for comment, Mr. Joseph Nyesuah said Stewart’s claim is just a “big distraction”.
He said the Commission doesn’t want to dignify his claim because there are other serious matters to be addressed.
In his statement, Stewart explained that Korkoya’s U.S. passport bears the name Jerome George Korkoya, born in Liberia on December 24, 1961. According to him, the passport number is 40707800 and it was issued on 16 March 2010 and its expiration date is 17 March 2020.
The former TRC commissioner said he’s using the medium to call on Mr. Korkoya to step down forthwith,because according to him, Chairman Korkoya is a U.S. national, a foreigner who is legally incompetent to superintend the 2017 elections.
Moreover, Stewart claimed that Chairman Korkoya lied under oath during confirmation hearings before the Liberian Senate about his citizenship status; thereby committing Perjury, a criminal offence under Liberian law.
Mr. Stewart, a professional writer and journalist, urged members of the public not to misconstrue his argument, adding he supports dual citizenship and feels that eventually the National Legislature will pass laws to address the issue.
However, for now, Stewart argues that there is no such provision for dual citizenship and therefore, Liberians have the obligation to respect the laws as it stands.
He urged the election commission chair to resign or be compelled to do so through court action.
Mr. Stewart also claimed that by virtue of his foreign nationality, Mr. Korkoya has no interest nor stake in the pending elections and that his action so far demonstrates that his intention might create confusion and then flee to the safety and protection of the United States as a citizen of that country.