By Naneka Hoffman
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has pledged to provide electoral assistance to Liberia valued at Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$500,000) for October 10, 2023, Presidential and General Elections, the chairperson of the National Elections Commission Davidetta Browne Lansanah, discloses here.
Making the disclosure during a press conference over the weekend at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Madam Browne-Lansanah said this is in response to request to the regional body for assistance made by the Commission few months ago.
She says accordingly, the NEC has submitted to ECOWAS a list of items to be funded by the generous donation.
She reminds that Candidate Nomination process for the October 10th polls started since 14 June 2023 and will end at 5p.m. on 14 July 2023, stressing that all aspirants are encouraged to submit applications within the period specified, as there will be no extension of the exercise.
At the same time Chairperson Browne-Lansanah details that total number of nomination packages picked up at close of business on 29 June 2023 is 3,225 from political parties and independent aspirants.
She says each political party is issued a package for 90 aspirants, including 73 Representative seats, 15 Senatorial seats, one Vice Presidential seat and one Presidential seat, respectively.
She continues that 27 packages have been returned for Independent Aspirants, representing (22 males and 5 females), while Political Parties have returned 63 packages (57 males and 6 females) adding that total number of packages returned thus far is 90.
Meanwhile, she also reveals that procurement process for non-sensitive and sensitive materials for the 10 October 2023 Elections is progressing according to plan, with the expectation of delivery this July.
She recalls in April this year, registered political parties, coalitions and alliances signed the 2023 Farmington River Declaration, committing themselves to violent-free elections and the elimination of violence against women in elections (VAWiE).
Similarly, she says the Commission, ECOWAS and UN-Liberia have scheduled a signing ceremony for Independent Candidates and newly registered political parties to affix their signatures to the Farmington River Declaration, adding that the event is slated for 19 July 2023 at Farmington Hotel, Unification Town, Margibi County.
The NEC says accreditation process for the 10 October 2023 General Elections has begun and will run in September 2023, urging interested persons and organizations to contact its Political Affairs Section to process applications. Editing by Jonathan Browne