NEC Meets Aspirants Today -As Anxiety of Disqualification Mounts

MONROVIA : Few days after the official closure of the candidate nomination process, the National Elections Commission (NEC) will today, Friday, July 21, 2023 meet with all the aspirants contesting for the various elective positions in the ensuing October 10, 2023 General elections at the EJS Ministerial Complex, Congo Town, Monrovia at 10 am just as anxiety is said to grip some of the aspirants after some individuals  were said to have filed objections against a number of aspirants for various allegations.

Though there has not been any official reason why the electoral body is holding the meeting with the aspirants, but sources close to NEC said the body will use the occasion to officially inform the aspirants that their nominations were received and the same are being process and if there is any other doubt the commission has, it will make contact to obtain clarification.

The source also said that NEC will inform them about all the procedures and processes that will be used to make the final determination on who will scale through the screening process as well as to educate them what should be done if an objection comes against their nomination. NEC, according to our source, will further use the occasion to send out a strong warning to all the aspirants about pre-election campaigns ahead of the official date of commencement of the campaign and the penalties for defaulting on this.

Meanwhile ahead of the final publication of those who will contest having being cleared of any default in their nomination some other aspirants have been having sleepless nights after information emerged that a number of objections have been filed with NEC seeking the electoral body’s intervention to stop those with various problems which according to complainant are violations of the electoral laws.

The reported decision by NEC to go ahead and apply the new electoral laws to the fullest is said to raise serious concerns among all those who may have genuine reasons to believe that they will not be allowed to contest the elections because their offenses were grave. A top member of one of the political parties said his party is prepared to embrace any eventuality if the party is not allowed to contest the election after they got the news that NEC may not allow them to contest because of the abysmal performance of the party in 2017 where they could not garner up to 2% of the total vote cast a key requirement under the new elections law.

“We were taking chances with the law and hoping that NEC will not implement it. Yes, we did meet the minimum threshold in the 2017 general elections. We got even less than 1% of the votes. That means we cannot field a presidential candidate for 2023 and 2029 but we will be silent on this and just keep on working to get the voters on our side”, he said

An elderly man who did not want his name to be printed in the papers said he was one of those who reportedly filed an objection against a particular aspirant said the person in question has not been residing in their constituency for the past 1 year which according to him is the minimum requirement to contest from any electoral in the country.

“Yes, I signed the petition against him because he has not resided in this constituency for the past one year which you know is against the new elections law of Liberia. He has been constructing a house for the past three years in the area which was completed just in May, 2023 and he moved here at the end of May, 2023 and that does not make you a resident in the area or other electoral district”, he said.

A number of objections that were filed according to some insiders at NEC bordered on the allegations that some of the aspirants are not qualified to contest because they have taken on the citizenship of other countries during the crisis years in Liberia and as such should not be allowed contest as they can’t hold loyalty to two nationalities.

“A lot them are not citizens of this country. Forget about they are having roots to Liberia and have even family members here but the fact remains that we know that they have taken oath to defend the new country not us. The West where they are cannot allow such to happen.

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