Politics News

First round elections had no major security breach

Liberia’s National Elections Security Task Force says there was no major security breach in the first round of the October 10 presidential and representatives’ elections.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, 26 October in Monrovia, Taskforce chair and Inspector General of Police Col. Gregory Coleman said the general security atmosphere of the just ended first round of elections went well without any major security breach.

The Taskforce is comprised of national security institutions including the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), Liberia Immigration Service and the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), among others.

The Taskforce press conference was attended by Liberian Army Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel D. Ziankahn, LIS Commissioner Col. Lemeo Reeves, Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations Col. Abraham Kromah and other heads of other agencies.

Giving an update to Liberians on the Taskforce’s observation of the security situation in the election process, Col. Coleman expressed thanks to voters for such a polite behavior exhibited on 10 October, when they turned out to exercise their constitutional franchise.

He says it is commendable, and the Taskforce encourages all voters to exercise such high level of restraint during the upcoming run- off elections expected on November 7, 2017.

The Taskforce chair however notes that despite the successful conduct of the polls of 10 October, there were some minor challenges encountered by personnel of the Taskforce in the Payment of Daily Sustainability Allowance (DSA) to its members.

While acknowledging the challenges encountered by the taskforce in terms of paying DSA to its members, Col. Coleman however clarified that UNDP has been able to disburse the allowances for 5,220 officers at various banks.

He says 238 officers are yet to receive their allowances due to account verification issues, though he says it is being processed.

“As you may be aware, the Government of Liberia received the amount of 1.14 Million United States Dollars from the Government of Japan to facilitate elections security for the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections,” Col. Coleman says.

Opposed to claims by anonymous officers that such money is not forthcoming because it has been turned over to their bosses, Col. Coleman clarifies that the money in question is being managed instead by the UNDP and not the various agencies making up the Taskforce.

“… [The] payment of officer’s allowances for the elections has been ongoing at nine different banking institutions in the country. However, some of the officers have not been paid since the first round of elections due to issues relating to the verification of their account numbers with their individual banks,” Col. Coleman adds.

On behalf the leadership of the Taskforce, Col. Coleman apologized to the affected officers, saying all is being done to resolve the problem and make payments in the shortest possible time.

UNDP Deputy Country Director for Program Mr. Cleophas Torori confirmed the figure in terms of the payment done so far during the press conference.

But he says there were too many reasons why the remaining officers had not yet gotten their DSA, as had been alluded to by Col. Coleman. Mr. Torori says corrections are being made to complete the payment.

By Winston W. Parley & Bridgett Milton

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