Amid increasing reports of alleged malpractices in the recent Voter Registration process conducted by the National Elections Commission in preparation for the special senatorial elections in December, the NEC has vowed to make the Final Voter Roll public before the poll.
NEC Chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne Lassanah said to fulfill the aspirations of all Liberians for free, fair, credible and transparent elections on 8 December 2020, and the Commission’s desire to ensure transparency and commitment to meet the aspirations of Liberians, a copy of the Final Registration Roll, FRR will be given to registered political parties, key civil society groups as well as members of the International Community to countercheck the Final Voter’s Roll.
Chairperson Davidetta Lassanah gave the assurance Thursday, 8 October when a three-person delegation from the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) visited the NEC to ascertain first-hand information on status of the 8 December 2020 Special Senatorial Election, National Referendum and by-elections in Sinoe and Montserrado Counties, respectively.
The ECC delegation was headed by its Coordinator, Oscar Bloh, while Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah, Co-chairperson Cllr. P. Tephel Reeves, Barsee Leo Kpankai, Floyd Oxley Sayor and Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar represented the Commission.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Bloh said the ECC had gone to the Commission to get first-hand information relating to the conduct of the three elections on 8 December 2020.
Mr. Bloh said the ECC is concern about the outcome of the just-ended Voter Roll Update and worried about the conduct of a free, fair, credible, and transparent election hence, he wanted to know challenges facing the Commission and what could be done to remedy such constraints, if there were any.
In response, NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lassanah expressed confidence of timely and adequate funding from the Government of Liberia and international partners for the electoral process.
She said government is committed to providing funding for the Special Senatorial election, but she did not state clearly how much money up to date, the NEC has received against US$13 million requested for the conduct of the election. The NEC boss said the Commission has no doubt that the government will provide necessary funds needed for the Special Senatorial Elections, National Referendum and the two by-elections.
She disclosed that procurement processes are ongoing, according to plan, and that with the level of commitment from the Liberian government to provide the needed funds, the three elections will be held as scheduled.
Liberians go to the poll in December to elect 15 senators that would join other 15 in the Liberian Senate and to vote for four propositions in a referendum, calling for changes in terms of the presidency from six to five years; the Senate from nine to seven years; the House of Representatives from six to four years, and dual citizenship.
However, four opposition parties under the banner Collaborating Political Parties or CPP, have collectively challenged the Final Voter Roll, demanding a complete clean-up before the poll.
The CPP has vowed to stage a sustained protest, until the FVR is cleaned up as was mandated by the Supreme Court of Liberian during the 2017 presidential elections.
By Nathaniel E.J. Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne