Claim: Oscar Bloh of the USAID-funded project, the Election Coordination Committee (ECC), and Amara Konneh from the UP strategize on how to rig November 14, 2023, in favour of the UP.
Full Text: A viral WhatsApp video claims that Bloh, the head of the ECC, a civil society group was in a meeting with Amara Konneh, elected senator of Gbarpolu and staunch supporter of Unity Party Presidential candidate Joseph Boakai.
The WhatsApp message says, “Oscar Bloah from USAID funded Election Coordination Committee (ECC) and Amara Konneh from the UP strategize on how to rag the November 14, 2023 in favor of the UP.
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) is Liberia’s largest domestic election observation network with diverse competencies, experiences, and expertise in democracy, elections, and governance, established in 2010.
We also saw the claim on Freedom FM’s Facebook page, “Independence lacking at the Election Coordinating Committee as leaked video shows its Executive Director, Oscar Bloh, having a meeting with Opposition Amara Konneh to manipulate results against the CDC
On Thursday, Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Secretary General Jefferson Koijee, in a live press conference of around forty-nine minutes, and five seconds unveiled a video claiming that Konneh and Bloh were in the wall room of the Unity Party.
The November 10 post attracted 125 comments and 95 shares as of the time the post was viewed.
Verification: The ECC in a press release issued November 10, debunked the circulated video.
“The attention of the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has been drawn to a video circulating on Facebook and other social media platforms in which the producer claimed that the Chairperson of the ECC, Cllr. Oscar Bloh was in the “war room” of the Unity Party (UP). The caption in the video and social media posts of one Mr. Manual Fle Chea also falsely claimed that Cllr. Bloh was in conversation with Mr. Amara Konneh intending to conspire with some workers of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to steal the pending run-off election.
The ECC wishes to make it absolutely clear that the video is fake and malicious, and that the person in the video is not Cllr. Oscar Bloh. Cllr. Bloh has never visited the data center or “war room” of any political party, including the UP, and he has never had any conversation or meeting with Mr. Konneh.
The ECC assures the Liberian people, its international development partners, including USAID and the Embassy of Ireland, and all political parties that it will never compromise its independence and will remain a non-partisan national domestic observation group. The ECC will continue to conduct its observation in a neutral and professional manner and update the Liberian public accordingly. We are committed to providing an independent assessment of the credibility of the conduct of elections in Liberia.
In the meantime, the ECC has started its step-down training of election observers across the country to observe the runoff election on November 14, 2023, and will update the public about observation findings in the coming days.
In a review of the 47-minute circulated video on WhatsApp, we took notice of the misspelt words: rig was spelled (rag), and Bloh was also spelled (Bloah).
Here is the full video:
A reverse image search and deep fake verification show that the video is not fake and there is no artificial intelligence detected.
Konneh indeed held a conversation with another man wearing a dark shirt sitting behind a computer with the map of Liberia portrayed on a screen.
It is fair to say that the claim that the man wearing the dark shirt is not Bloh See below:
Conclusion: With the findings, it is safe to state that the man in the viral video is not Oscar Bloh of the ECC, and we cannot say whether the film is from the Unity Party’s wall room in preparation for the November run-off between Unity Party candidate Joseph Boakai and incumbent President George Weah.