Alagi Saidy-Barrow: UDP Election Lawsuit: How Flawed Must An Election Process Be To Be Invalid? 

Alagie Saidy-Barrow

When it’s all said and done, those among us who never supported the UDP will likely see their election lawsuit as a frivolous lawsuit. And that’s no matter how much evidence is presented. That’s along with those among us who also support other parties or individuals who were also thrashed by Barrow but somehow, confoundingly found redemption in the “defeat” of the UDP.

Talk about misplaced schadenfreude! Those among us who support the UDP will likely see merit in the points raised.

To them, the defeat is impossible and because it’s impossible in their minds, they find it unacceptable. It’s as simple as that for some. I don’t see the various political cleavages narrowing anytime soon and that’s not withstanding our tolerance for sycophants and opportunists among us who straddle various political divides depending on where their bread is buttered. For some of us who never believed in this politics or elections as it obtained because we think it’s a charade, we sit by watching the election charade play out.

In my view, this election was flawed from the very beginning. Deciding to participate in it depended on one’s threshold, capability or willingness to accept a flawed process. Our ability to tolerate a flawed process often depends on what we stand to gain and who stands to lose.

For me, the moment you calculatingly and willingly disenfranchise other citizens from selecting people who represent (at least that’s the claim) their voices, the legitimacy of your process is flawed. Some of us have no issues with illegitimacy when it favors us or does not affect us. You hear the simple minded among us regurgitating “the law is the law”!

But I must ask. How flawed must an election process be to be declared invalid? What is the threshold? What is the red line that we drew in the sand and said if the elections process crosses this line, then the election is invalid? Who determines where that red line is? Is it the IEC? Is it the election observers who usually transpose legality over legitimacy as if what’s legal is always best?

What does “free and fair” elections mean to us? What is our threshold for what’s “free”? What is our threshold for what’s “fair”? Or is that as with most things, we look up to our colonial masters for answers and see what they say? If legitimacy is derived from free and fair elections, how unfair and unfree must elections be to be unable to undergird such legitimacy? Where do we draw the line? Are we willing to accept one hundred illegal votes and only act when it’s a thousand illegal votes? Are we willing to accept civil servants openly engaging in partisan politics if it’s just ten of them doing so? How effed up must ish be for it to stink?

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