The National Elections Commission or NEC has issued 72 hours ultimatum to presidential and representatives aspirants involved in alleged pre-campaign activities to remove their postures and materials bearing campaign messages from public places or face the full weight of the law.
Speaking on Monday, 27 February at news conference in Monrovia, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Kokorya said, in keeping with Chapter V, Section 5.2 (b) of the electoral guidelines, it is forbidden for individuals, who have ambition to contest a general election to publish printed materials with pictures on billboards, banners, posters and placards that tend to promote their quest when campaign has not been declared by the commission.
“In spite of the publication of the guidelines and our ultimatum to individuals to take down such materials in 72 hours, we still see material with pictures and promotional statements up. For example, at the ELWA Market area, there is a bill board with the picture of one Rufus Tull. At the intersection of Duport Road and the road leading into Zubah Town Road, we also see a billboard with the picture of one KanioBaiGbala with promotional message. We call on these individuals and all others whom we may not be able to name to take down those billboards within 72 hours. The commission will reject the nomination application of all persons, who fail to adhere to this warning,” Chairman Kokorya threatens.
Commenting on the current voter registration exercise, the NEC boss said from the onset of the process, the commission deployed more that 2.5 million forms to its 19 magisterial offices across the country.
“We currently have a buffer of 1,300,000 (one million three hundred thousands) forms packed to be deployed, if and when the demand arises,” he told reporters.
He said of the 2.5 million deployed, 1,046,888 have been returned to headquarters and are being scanned, leaving the commission with one million- five hundred thousand, one hundred twelve forms at work in process stage in the field.
He noted that at this stage of the registration process, it is not yet possible to disaggregate report on registration figures in terms of gender and age groups, adding that will happen when the database is created following scanning of forms.
Chairman Kokoryasaid forms that are already scanned so far show that women are not turning out enough to register as the commission expected.
“The commission takes great interest in women participation in electoral processes and would therefore like to encourage them to take advantage of these remaining days to increase their number. Though the commission is willing to implement all of the international protocols on affirmative action for women participation, all such initiatives will amount to nothing if women themselves do not take interest in the process to enhance their participation in decision making,” Chairman Korkoya emphasized.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne