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‘Insufficient voting centers may impact BVR outcome’ -Chie

The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate Albert Tugbe Chie has warned that the results of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process may not be what is anticipated in some counties due to limited centers.

Delivering a statement Tuesday, 16 May 2023 at the opening of the 54th Legislature on Capitol Hill, Mr. Chie cited the challenges of having limited centers far away from towns and villages.

“Nevertheless, the final results of the BVR process may not be what we anticipate in some of the counties due to the challenges of having limited centers far away from towns and villages,” Mr. Chie said.

He noted the inability of many citizens to reach voting centers which in many instances are miles away, at times three to four hours walk.

Cognizant of elections being a nationally owned process, Mr. Chie commended the efforts and contributions of local and international partners in ensuring a successful election.

However, he said, their assistance should take into consideration the aspiration and the real needs of the voting population. 

Chie detailed that over and over, citizens in rural areas have asked authorities to request the National Elections Commission (NEC) to create additional voting centers to enable them to register to vote. 

Unfortunately, Chie said the NEC informed the Legislature that it was unable to create additional voting centers due to financial constraints.  

“In view of the above circumstances, these challenges may have a negative impact on the outcome of BVR process compared to the recently held census,” Chie warned.

He claimed that through the census, enumerators reached every nook and [cranny] of the counties and counted all persons.  

Mr. Chie noted that despite improvements made in strengthening the electoral systems through reforms, they engaged partners (local and international) to consider contributing financially to buttress the government’s efforts of increasing these centers in rural areas.

Hopefully, he added, the assistance will be considered to improve the democratic process and systems at NEC.

He referenced the pronouncement of millions being contributed to the electoral process by some partners through the UNDP and other international organizations. 

Approaching the presidential and legislative elections in October, Chie stated that it is important to reflect on the role of the Legislature in the framework of practicality and under the existing circumstances, especially in meeting the high expectations of the people.

Chie assured Liberians that the Legislature will continue to play the role they have designated it to play. 

But he also urged Liberians to remember that to play that role, requires a significant number of financial resources, most of which are appropriated in the National Budget and have to be paid from the national treasury, by the law of the land.

“A reminder to you my fellow Liberians: We are in an election year. Be careful to digest well what you hear and read before you believe,” he pleaded.

He claimed that political lies, character assassinations, rumors, and fabrication with the intent to deceive the masses will be the order of the day.

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