-NEC releases countdown
The National Elections Commission has released countdown to the impending 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections here, setting Tuesday, October 10, 2017 as polling date, exactly 498 days from today’s date.
The Commission had earlier announced a US$60 Million budget to conduct next year’s polls across the country with a total of 23 political parties already registered. The NEC says more parties are expected in a country of about 4 million people.
Acting chairperson Cllr. Sarah Toe, who announced the countdown on Sunday, 29 May at the NEC headquarters on 9th Street in Monrovia, said this is in compliance with constitutional provision as well as part of its public awareness strategy.
Cllr. Toe said the 2017 elections will be conducted in concert with article 83 (a) of the Constitution of Liberia, which states that voting for the President, members of the Senate and members of the House Representatives shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the second Tuesday in October each election year.
She called on the media here to join the commission in building and creating awareness about the elections which are very important to the current democratic history of the country. “To you members of the press, we appreciate your continuous partnership with the Commission and we again urge your assistance in effectively disseminating information about all aspects of the electoral process to the public as we all strive to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in our country in 2017.”
The Acting NEC boss has also announced a new logo of the Commission, which described as a transparent ballot box with a red lid complemented with the acronym ‘NEC’ written in bold blue capital letters. According to her, the ballot box was the logo selected by a large percentage of stakeholders asked to select from a sample of logos during a consultative exercise organized by the Commission.
Cllr. Toe further explained the new logo is part of a process in which NEC is seeking to develop a more consistent corporate image to highlight its role as an independent Electoral Management Body or EMB. She indicated the ballot box represents transparency, and an electoral process in which all voters can freely elect their leaders in a free, fair, credible and transparent manner.
“These terms are consistently being stressed by stakeholders as those associated with credible elections and electoral management bodies. The colors reflect the national colors and the blue, red and white mean Liberian nationhood and civic virtue,” she added.
The Acting Chair intimated that in an era of greater transparency and authenticity, social media is rapidly delivering a new standard of interaction among people and on the basis of that, the Commission has launched its social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter platforms, adding “Those platforms will present a whole new paradigm for effectively disseminating Civic/Voter Education messages to the public as we move closer to the 2017 elections.”
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne