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For 2014 Special Elections, NEC needs US$15.3m

By Jonathan Grigsby
NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya
NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya

(mylbsonline.con/Liberia)-Authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) say the Commission needs US$15.3m for the conduct of the 2014 Special Senatorial Election in Liberia.

NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, said: “The amount will be used to facilitate and enhance the process of updating voters’ roll, to validate for possible inclusion of people who have reached the 18 year voting age and above.” 

“The Commission will also consider the inclusion of individuals who have also changed their locations after the 2011 General and Presidential Elections.” He noted.

“The Update Voters’ Roll Process is to afford Liberians at the 18 year voting age and above, and those who could not register during the last voter’s registration exercise, to have access to the electorial process,” the NEC Boss said.

It is also intended to afford Liberians, who cannot return to their previous localities to cast their ballots at the new precincts, to have equal access.”

“If NEC was to carry out new registration for eligible voters, the cost for the 2014 Special Senatorial Election could increase from US$15.3m to US$21m,” Cllr. Korkoya added.

He called on stakeholders, particularly political parties and civil society organizations in the country, to constructively engage the appropriate authorities for the speedy passage of the National Budget.

“This is intended to ensure the successful conduct of the 2014 Special Senatorial Elections,” the NEC Chairman also emphasized.

Cllr. Korkoya said: “Two hundred teams of trained personnel will be selected to work on the Voters’ Update Roll, expected to commence in January, 2014.”

“The exercise would last for 45 days, to cover the 1,780 voting precincts across the country.”

He spoke Thursday, August 29, 2013 at a two-day Inter-Party Consultative Committee Workshop in Kakata, Margibi County.

Kakata is the provincial capital city of Margibi County, located some 45 miles away from the Liberian Capital, Monrovia.

“The Voters’ Update Roll Exercise is not a new voters’ registration process. It is rather intended to provide eligible voters access to the electoral process,’’ Cllr. Korkoya emphasized.

He thanked the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), for supporting the two-day workshop.

The workshop was held under the theme:  “Raising Awareness amongst Political Parties on the Voters’ Roll Update Process.”

Free Democratic Party (FDP) Chairman, Ciapha Gborllie, took a critical position on the FDP’s future participation in any NEC organized Inter-Party Consultative Committee meeting (IPCC).

Chairman Gborllie vowed not to participate in any of such meetings, if the Memorandum of Understanding between NEC and the various political parties is not signed.

The FDP Chairman made the statement when he spoke on behalf of the political party representatives at the official opening of the workshop. 

He said: “At recent meeting with political parties in Liberia, NEC Acting Chairman, Cllr. Sarah Toe, assured us that the revised MOU would have been signed July 30, 2013, but one month has elapsed without the document being signed.”

“The signing of the MOU by the National Elections Commission will protect the interest of both the Commission and the political parties, so all details must be worked out to have the MOU signed immediately”.

Topics being deliberated on at the workshop include, Legal Basis for the Voters’ Update Roll, Why Voters’ Roll Update, Advantages and Disadvantages, Processes and Procedures of the Voters’ Update.

Others are Public Information Dissemination Methodology, Recruitment and Training for Voters’ Update and Stakeholders participation in Voters’ Update Process.


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