The December 8, 2020 special senatorial election is over but campaign billboards of candidates that participated in the process are still visible in several parts of Montserrado County and across the country, leaving commentators asking when they will be taken down.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the New Dawn in Monrovia recently, local advocate Joseph T. F. Johnson of the Action for Elections and Democracy said he is taken aback that since the polls ended a more than month ago; political actors are yet remove their campaign billboards from the streets.
He noted the presence of campaign billboards in the streets and communities after an election violates the National Elections Commission guidelines on political activities in the country. According to him, all political campaign billboards erected across the country should have by now been disposed off since the purpose for which they were erected has ended.
Johnson believes that politicians were informed by the National Election Commission as to the erection and removal processes, so he sees no reason why up to present they are still in the public domain.
He calls on the NEC to enforce rules governing campaign and elections to avoid a repeat of such practice.
“We are no longer having election in Liberia and so why should politicians campaign billboards still be seen around our communities; I think the National Elections Commission should take the necessary action to ensure complete compliance”, Johnson emphasized.
He recalled that during the 2017 general and presidential elections, several campaign billboards were erected across the country but following the process, most of the political actors failed to take them down as required by the National Elections Commission.
It is not however clear what penalty the NEC imposes on politicians or candidates whose campaign billboards are still in the streets following the senatorial and representative by-elections that have witnessed several legal challenges at both the Commission and the Supreme Court of Liberia.
By Emmanuel Mondaye