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Ballots arrival for Rivercess’ by-election

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The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced the arrival of ballot papers for the April 21, 2015 Representative By-Election in Electoral District #2 Rivercess County.

NEC acting Chairman,  Cllr. Sarah Toe, made the declaration on Wednesday, April 15 at a news conference held at the Commission’s headquarters in Monrovia.

According to a press release, Cllr. Toe said a total of 24,200 ballot papers have been printed and delivered to the National Elections Commission. 

She indicated that the ballot papers which were printed in Ghana were brought into the country on Monday, April 13, 2015 and are being packaged for polling day, next Tuesday. 

The Acting NEC Boss said in keeping with the key electoral dates for the by-election, the Commission on March 25, 2015, officially certified 10 candidates to contest the poll and by the same token officially declared the start of political campaigning on the same day.

“Since the start of campaigning, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there has been no official report of rancor or misbehavior either on the part of the candidates or their supporters. This is a very welcome development and we wish to implore the candidates and their supporters to continue along this path up to midnight April 19, 2015, the official date for the end of political campaigning,” Cllr. Toe said.

She also said that in preparation for the polling process on April 21, 2015, the National Elections Commission is concluding the process of recruiting more than 200 temporary staffs to serve as poll workers, and that, shortlisted candidates are being processed and would shortly be trained to conduct polling activities.

The NEC said 26 International Observers, 44 National Observers and 840 independent candidates and political party agents have been accredited by the Commission to observe Tuesday’s poll in Rivercess County.

Among institutions accredited by the Commission are the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES); United States Embassy;  African Union, European Union, UNMIL, UNDP, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), the Elections Coordinating Committee and the Angie Brooks International, among others.

A total of 840 tags will be given to agents of political parties and the only independent candidate contesting the Representative By-Election in the District.

Training of political parties and Independent Candidate Agents will be conducted on April 19, 2015 in the county.

Cllr. Toe revealed that civic and voter education activities are also proceeding quite well in the district and that Town Criers, civic educators and gender monitors recruited by the National Elections Commission are currently conducting civic and voter education activities across Electoral District #2.

The efforts of these people, she indicated, are being complemented by additional field staffs that include elections magisterial and field coordination personnel from several elections magisterial areas across Liberia.

“At the same time, community radio stations in the county as well as national media institutions are also providing awareness while posters and fliers for the by-election are being used to compliment CVE activities in Rivercess,” Cllr. Toe noted.

According to the Acting Chairman, the goal of the CVE exercise is to reach all registered voters of Electoral District Number 2, Rivercess County, and encourage them to participate in the forthcoming by-election. 

Electoral District # 2 comprises 19 voting precincts, 42 polling places and a total number of 16,003 registered voters.

Ten candidates certified by the Commission to contest the poll include one female and nine males. They are:  Bartee, Sr. Charles Zarkpah, (male),Congress for Democratic Change, (CDC); Doue, G. Thomas M, (male), Alternative National Congress, (ANC); Greene, Jerry Floh, (male), Unity Party (UP); Mentoe, Hilary Flomo, (male), Independent; Paul, Gabriel, (male); National Patriotic Party (NPP); Reeves, Jerome Garmonblo,( male), Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD); Wally, Matthew T,(male) Liberty Party, (LP); Wesseh, Lucky T.K. (female) National Democratic Coalition (NDC); Zah, Kofi Bob, (male), People’s Unification Party, (PUP);  and Zahnwea, Byron Wehgbiah, (male), Movement for Progressive Change, (MPC).

House Speaker Alex Tyler, in concert with article 37 of the Liberian Constitution, on January 22, 2015, wrote the National Elections Commission (NEC), notifying it of the existence of a vacancy in the House of Representatives.

In the letter, Speaker Tyler informed the Commission that the vacancy is a result of the election of  Rivercess County Electoral District #2 Representative, Francis Paye, as Senator for the county during the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

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