The voter’s registration process for this year’s Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia is in its fifth day throughout the country. The ongoing exercise is the first of three major events under the auspices of the National Elections Commission or NEC for the entire Liberian electoral process this year.
The enthusiasm/anxiety which should have marked the commencement of the voter’s registration on Monday, January 10, 2011 was far less than high despite all that NEC did to have the exercise on track.
Of course, as it is always, some had attributed the poor turn-out to the failure of the National Elections Commission to adequately conduct voter’s education/awareness/sensitization among the population. While we may partially sympathize with the concerns of those who harbor the belief that the Elections Commission should do it all, we also consider our failure as a people to adhere to our civic responsibility.
Our role in assisting the process of creating awareness and sensitizing our compatriots on the voter’s registration and its essence is even graver than the blame which is being shifted to the NEC, even though the process has duration of about a month. While the National Elections Commission is statutorily responsible for all electoral matters in the country, may we also emphasize that the roles of all political parties, political leaders, Members of the Liberian Legislature and the Executive are very pivotal.
Since the release of the calendar of events for the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections, including the January 10, 2011 date for voter’s registration, less than very little was done by us all to muster the courage among the population for the process. We must be very clear to us all in Liberia that we cannot continue to thrive on the path of unnecessary blame-game as a result of our own inadequacies.
Perhaps it is because of this shame that members of the Liberian Legislature have decided to give themselves another unnecessary 10- break just upon their return from their annual vacation or “agriculture break.” A K-2 student would even wonder as to why didn’t these legislators use their so-called agriculture break to educate and sanitize their constituents on the essence of registering with the National Elections Commission for the 2011 polls, but would now choose another break to do so.
This is why, in mind of such K-2 student, those aspiring for public offices must have gone through the rudiments of the public service to finally retire as legislators so as to be able make laws not from sentimental perspectives, but those based on experience and national interests. To our brothers and sisters who have begun the electoral process on a very bad note by registering or attempting to registering “two times”, remember that it is a complete disservice not only to this nation, but you.
We think, those arrested by the Liberia National Police, in collaboration with the national Elections Commission for “double registration” must not only be disqualified, but prosecuted in keeping with the election laws of Liberia. Perhaps someone, somewhere would again attribute such double registration on the failure of NEC to sensitize the population, but it would be very foolhardy for anyone towards such direction.
For us here at the New Dawn-Liberia, we harbor the fervent belief that EACH ONE MUST TEACH THE OTHER on all electoral matters on the basis of his/her experience, and not only rely on NEC because it cannot do it all. To succeed in our endeavors for the enhancement of true democracy in Liberia, we must be totally involved.