The National Elections Commission or NEC has released key dates leading to the conduct of presidential and representative elections on Tuesday, 10 October 2017.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Kokorya told a news conference on Friday that, publication of voters’ registration regulations and Civil Society Organizations’ accreditation process begins today, Monday, 20 June and ends November 30, 2016, while regional consultation on civil voters’ education for voter’s registration starts is slated for November 15, 2016.
Cllr. Kokorya said December 5, 2016 will be accreditation of political parties’ agents, media and observers for the voters’ registration process; December 29, 2016, list of registration centers will be published to be followed by the official launch of civil voters’ education for voter registration by January 4, 2017, and from February 1, 2017 to March 24, 2017 will be voter registration period for all qualified Liberians.
The key dates track important schedules throughout the 2017 Election Cycle and set February 1 to March 24, 2017 as Period for Voter Registration while the Writs of Elections is scheduled to be issued on May 9, 2017.
Other timelines include Exhibition of Provisional Registration Roll and Distribution of Voter ID Cards, from June 10 to 20, 2017; Candidates Nomination from July 2 to 24, 2017 and Presidential and Representative Campaign Period from August 8 to October 8, 2017.
October 10, 2017 is Elections’ Day, while Announcement of Final Results of the Elections is scheduled for October 25, 2017. Chairman Korkoya said the release of Key Dates is an expression of the Commission’s preparedness to conduct free and fair elections in Liberia in 2017.
He said some activities of the Key Dates released Friday are subject to adjustment based on prevailing circumstances. The release of the key dates for the 2017 Elections is part of efforts by the NEC to stimulate public awareness and participation in all aspects of the electoral process.
At least 22 registered political parties are expected to vie in the impending elections, which are open to all as incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would not be contesting after serving two six-year terms.
Meanwhile, information gathered from the headquarters of NEC says government is yet to jump start the process of providing funds for the elections.
The NEC is awaiting passage of the draft national budget which is currently before the Liberian Legislature, for debate and enactment by both and the House of Representatives and the Senate subsequent signing by the President.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne