By Stephen G. Fellajuah
MONROVIA: As preparation for the ensuing 2023 gets in top gear, the National Elections Commission (NEC) through its Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah has provided update surrounding various activities which included the just ended 2023 Exhibition of the Provisional Registration Roll (PRR), the on-going Candidate Nomination exercise, as well as the procurement of electoral materials for the 10 October general elections, among others.
Addressing a press conference, on Friday, June 30, 2023 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, in Paynesville Chairperson Browne Lansanah made it known that the exhibition of the provisional registration roll proceeded as planned, starting on June 12 and ending on June 17, 2023.
The Exhibition exercise, according to her, was concluded in 2,080 Exhibition centers throughout the country with 15 headquarters staff, 61 magisterial staff, 4,180 Exhibition centers staff and 461 Supervisors deployed throughout the 15 counties and 19 magisterial areas.
“Reconciliation of exhibition data is currently nearing completion at the NEC Data Center. The process considers all voter registration records that were processed during the exhibition period. These records represent voters who made claims for corrections, inclusion and/or objection to inclusion, suspected underage registration and multiple registration”, Madam Browne Lansanah said.
She also explained that because of the late arrival of exhibition data and forms from the South East due to road conditions, the date for the announcement of the final registration figures is being adjusted and the new date will be communicated to the public.
Speaking on the candidate nomination process, the NEC boss said it commenced on 14 June 2023 and will end at 5 p.m on 14 July 2023 and encouraged all aspirants to submit their applications within the period specified.
According to Madam Lansanah statistics of the number of packages picked by both political parties and independent aspirants as of June 29 2023 3, 225. Of the number, independent aspirants picked up 255, while Political parties picked up 2,970
She noted, “Each political party is issued a package for 90 aspirants in the following categories,73 Representative seats,15 Senatorial seats, 1 Vice Presidential seat and1 Presidential seat.”
She explained that packages returned for Independent candidates are 27 (22 males and 5 females). Political parties returned 63 (57 males and 6 females. Total number of packages returned was 90.
“Let me restate, the Commission will not extend this nomination period and aspirants are encouraged to make use of the 14 June to 14 July period provided”, NEC Chair stressed.
On procurement of election materials, she disclosed that the procurement process for non-sensitive and sensitive materials for the 10 October 2023 elections is progressing according to plan , with the expectation of delivery beginning in the month of July.
Farmington River Declaration
The NEC boss also used the occasion to speak on the Farmington River Declaration and said on 4 April 2023 registered political, coalitions and alliances signed the 2023 Farmington River Declaration committing themselves to a violent- free 2023 general elections and the elimination of violence against women in the elections (VAWiE).
“Similarly, the Commission, ECOWAS and UN-Liberia have scheduled a signing ceremony for Independent candidates and newly registered political parties to affix their signatures to the Farmington River Declaration, as they too will be committing themselves to a violent free 2023 elections. The event is slated for 19 July 2023 at the Farmington Hotel, in Unification Town, Margibi County”, she said.
She reminded all local and international observer institutions that the accreditation process for the 10 October 2023 general elections has begun and will run to September 2023. All interested are encouraged to contact the Political Affairs Section of the NEC for the processing of their applications.
The NEC Chairperson noted that based on a request for assistance made by the NEC a few months ago, ECOWAS has informed the Commission that the regional body will provide electoral assistance in the tune of five hundred thousand United States dollars (US$500,000). The Commission has submitted to ECOWAS a list of items to be funded by this generous donation..
“In concluding, the Commission again thanks and assures all Liberians, all stakeholders and electoral actors that the NEC will continue to work with you to the successful conclusion of the 2023 electoral process”, she assures.