President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf says the National Elections Commission (NEC) must ensure that it protects the State from any disturbance, ordering commissioners here to demonstrate efficiency and neutrality in the decisions they make in strengthening Liberians’ trust in the electoral body.
While jointly commissioning Liberia’s ambassador to Qatar, former Maryland County Sen. John Ballout and two NEC Commissioners on Monday, 21 August at her office, Mrs. Sirleaf reminds the NEC officials that Liberia looks forward to a major transition and they must ensure that “we” depend on them.
Under the chairmanship of Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, the NEC is bracing for what may become its biggest test this October in handling over 20 presidential candidates with roughly a thousand representative candidates that are battling for just 73 seats at the lower house.
Upon administering an oath of office to Commissioners Jeanette A. Ebba - Dividson and Boakai Amadu Dukuly who were led to the President’s office by NEC Chair Cllr. Korkoya and his deputy, President Sirleaf emphasized that the neutrality and efficiency that the commissioners show will built the trust that Liberians want.
Similarly, Mrs. Sirleaf earlier enjoined Amb. Ballout that Liberia expects that whatever he does in his new role as the country’s top envoy to Qatar will throw into his goodwill, not only as good diplomat, but to foster good relations between the two countries.
Mrs. Sirleaf tells Amb. Ballout that government expects the same expediency and quality he carried in his previous task as Senator.
Responding on behalf of the NEC, Commissioner Jeanette A. Ebba - Davidson promises Mrs. Sirleaf that the Commission will continue to fearlessly perform its constitutional tasks, and assures that it will deliver free and fair elections void of violence.
While assuring President Sirleaf that the NEC will create a level playing field for everyone, Madam Davidson takes a moment to appreciate the president for being supportive to the Commission financially and otherwise, whenever her help is needed.
She notes that the NEC will be at President Sirleaf’s door step if there are hitches anywhere that require her help, having acknowledged that Mrs. Sirleaf sees the success of the October elections as one of the biggest legacy she wants to leave.
Madam Davidson encourages Mrs. Sirleaf to trust the NEC Board of Commissioner on grounds that they will do the best they can to make Liberians proud.
She has however admonished Liberians against electoral violence, noting that punching a colleague’s eye will only incite violence. She notes that Liberia has missed a lot of opportunities, and pleads with the citizenry that these October elections must not be one of such opportunities that the country would miss.
In response to a toast proffered by President Sirleaf to the honorees, Amb. John Ballout thanked the President for the tasks given each of them, assuring her that they shall endeavour to do their best. He prays that God Almighty continues to bless the works of President Sirleaf. ---By Winston W. Parley