The vice president for Programs of the Washington D.C. based American Elections charity group, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) today, August 23 2017 paid a courtesy call on the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya.
Doing their discussions, at NEC Headquarters, Michael Svetur said the visit was intended to get on the spot information on the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections and to take stock of the support of IFES to the Liberian Election Management Body, EMB. Briefing the IFES Vice President, Cllr. Korkoya described IFES as an undoubtable dependable elections partner to the Commission, mainly during this critical time of electioneer period in Liberia.
However, Chairman Korkoya said he was greatly concerned about many other challenges including the Data Center, Legal hearing and the capacity of elections staff in the 19 magisterial areas outside of Headquarters, and Effective Communications and Logistical problems. Commissioner Korkoya, JD, told the visiting IFES Vice President that the Commission was seriously considering the services of helicopters to airlift sensitive elections materials mainly in the South-Eastern parts of the Country in the wake of very bad or inaccessible road conditions.
He said in previous elections, the United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL provided the Commission with helicopters to air lift sensitive elections materials in these difficult, hard to reach areas in the country.Meanwhile, the NEC Chairman today provided updates on the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections at the Commission’s regular weekly press briefing on the 2017 elections.
The NEC Boss spoke about the verification of sample Ballot papers (that are now ready for verification), disposition of objectives and complaints, recruitment of poll workers, electoral disputes and resolution training for Magistrates and Regional Coordinators, as well as the official launch of the Civic and Voter Education campaign.Chairman Korkoya said a Special Recruitment Committee has been setup to work with the Elections Magistrates to recruit 28, 367 competent poll workers, including Presiding Officer, P.O, Voter Identification Officer, VIO, Ballot Paper Issuer BPI, and Queue Controller, QC.
At the press conference today, August 23, 2017, the Chairman said the Commission has already recruited and deployed 436 civic educators and 219 gender mobilizers across the country for a period of two months to carry out door to door outreach as well as face to face interactions with community dwellers.
The Chairman of the Liberian Elections Management Body said the work of the Commission continues to be hindered with challenges of getting complainants and respondents in some cases to appear when cited for hearings. The Commission will have no other options but to dispose of cases of complainants and respondents who failed to honor citation for hearing these cases by the Commission’s Hearing Office, the Chairman of NEC said.