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GeneralLiberia news

Liberians extol NEC 

–Over completion of BVR phase one

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Several Liberians have expressed appreciation to the National Elections Commission (NEC) for completing phase one of the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process peacefully in the first six counties.

Speaking in an interview with this paper Tuesday, 18 April 2023, they described the completion of the first phase as peaceful, transparent, and credible.

They added that the process is setting the stage for a peaceful election.

“We are excited and like to extol the NEC for the completion of BVR’s first phase. We see how transparent, credible, and peaceful the process was,” one of those interviewed said.

On Monday, 18 April 2023, the NEC released preliminary results from the just-ended Phase One of the BVR exercise conducted in six counties, indicating that over 1.4 million people had so far registered to vote in the scheduled October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

Phase two of the BVR exercise in the remaining 9 counties, Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland Counties are expected to kick off on 21 April.

Some Liberians believe that the BVR process has brought maturity and credibility to the elections process.

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During the interview, they said the process is transparent to the point that people who tried to duplicate it by registering twice were arrested. 

“We saw police having a press conference displaying them,” another said.

Commenting on the BVR phase one result, Prince Yarsiah, a resident of Logan Town, Quaya Street Community extolled the NEC for the peaceful and credible process. 

According to him, despite the many challenges faced, issues were solved after some days when NEC staff began to understand the BVR process.

“I heard people talking that the process had challenges. However, they forgot to know that everything has challenges under this sun,” he said. 

Yarsiah suggested that people should be grateful that there is a process that can prevent people from registering and voting twice. 

“I believe with this process, our democracy is now safe, and nobody will tamper with it. Finally, I want the thank the NEC for the introduction of the BVR because it has started to disclose fraudulent voters,” he stated.

Also speaking, a female advocate, Williemena T. Kun, said the challenges that NEC staff faced had contributed to an alleged drop in the registration process.

She believes that there was a drop in registration due to citizens’ distrust of the government and politicians.

She does not believe that most of those who have registered will turn out to vote.

“I have had conversations with several voters mostly, the elder ones. They have told me personally that they are not getting the cards to vote, but for the transaction and because it’s nice looking,” she claimed.

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