NEC Rebukes “Partisan” Recruitment Claims -Says “It is Dangerous Attempt to Undermine Elections”

MONROVIA: In a swift reaction to a recent post and   circulated on Facebook with a caption, “Breaking News” wherein it was stated that the National Elections Commission (NEC) had abandoned its initial process of recruitment of adhoc staff but was now picking partisan staff drawn from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC), the electoral umpire has rebuked the instigators of the allegation, saying it was meant to undermine the ensuing general elections.

According to the reaction from NEC which was posted on its Facebook page, the masterminds of the inciting post alleged that “NEC Board of Commissioners has ignored the recruitment procedures which called for the online application of Liberians and subsequent vetting/selection by a team but has dispatched special recruitment teams in Lofa, rural Montserrado and Nimba counties to do a new recruitment and select their own workers who are believed to be Cdcians”. The post further alleges that, “This scheme is intended to recruit Cdcians to occupy key positions as presiding officers, identification officers, ballot paper issuers, and queue controllers”.

“The NEC, in no uncertain terms, categorically denies these allegations.  This story has no basis in fact; it is false and a dangerous attempt to undermine the electoral process and expose the Commission to disrepute and endanger members of its Board of Commissioners and staff.

“The Commission assures the Liberian people and the public that application for all categories of temporary staff was done online via the NEC Temporary Staff Application Portal. The application process for temporary staff for the elections started on July 31, 2023 and ended on August 7, 2023, with a total of 60,365 applicants in all categories to fill the 39,000 required posts. The online recruitment platform was introduced to ensure the integrity of the recruitment process of temporary electoral workers and to attract highly qualified applicants. This was manifested during biometric voter registration which was a resounding success.

NEC said the application process is such that everyone who successfully submitted an application received a unique Temporary Staff Application (TSA) number, which will be used as an ID for each applicant through the process of shortlisting, testing, training, contract and processing of payment. “Absolutely, no one will be hired who did not apply via the NEC’s Temporary Staff Application Portal from July 31 to August 7, 2023”, the release said.

“For checks and balances and the application of utmost due diligence, the recruitment team, headed by NEC Human Resource Section, has identified and trained 38 headquarter staff (two per magisterial area) to work with the Election Magistrates to do the vetting of the applicants.

“The NEC states that members of the Board of Commission, who are policy makers of the Commission, do not interfere with the recruitment of staff, which is a responsibility of the Secretariat. Again, this is a malicious attempt to undermine the credibility of the Commission during these critical times.

“Finally, we call on all political actors and stakeholders to always contact the NEC, with whatever evidence they may have, before publishing these kinds of misinformation that have the propensity to not only undermine the credibility of the electoral process but that could also put personnel of the NEC in harm ways and even threaten the peace”, the release concluded.

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