It may be a strange record to hold and not one that shed’s the greatest spirit on humanity or democracy, but it is a real Guinness book of world records: the most frauded election in history. The record is held by President Charles King, who was elected president of Liberia in 1927. Though we can’t say he was elected by the people due to the amount of fraud that happened.
During the 1920s, one of the oldest disputes in Liberia resurfaced it was a dispute around allowing and using foreign capital to further develop the country’s infrastructure. The dispute came back into the front light due to the negotiations between Harvey Firestone and the government. Firestone found Liberia to be the perfect place to grow and produce rubber: it was a tropical and humid climate along with an abundant and cheap labor force. In 1926, the Firestone Concession Agreement was signed but it quickly became a much heated and debated agreement throughout Liberia.
Not everyone was fond of the country’s apparent open door policy and were worried it would simply turn into a country that was administrated by corporate powers. It is true the shortly after the agreement was signed, Firestone added in a clause that forced the Liberian government to take a 5 million dollar loan from his company thus ensuring they would be pretty much stuck to work with him.
President King was aware of the growing concern and revolt against his policies around the international business so when the 1927 presidential elections turned up, he simply ensured he would win. The elections hold the record for most fraudulent elections ever reported, and you can’t even deny it. In Liberia, at the time the right to vote was constitutionally limited to around 15,000 citizens who were all Americo-Liberians. For starters, this is a small percentage of the population, but the fraud became immediately apparent when it was recorded in the results that 240,000 votes had been cast for Charles King.
This landslide fraud of a victory did start the end of President King’s reign. The following year the defeated candidate Faulkner started to accuse him of allowing slavery to return to Liberia by the form of forced labor for these foreign corporations. This eventually forced President King to resign in 1930.