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NEC’s Position on Unauthorized Campaigning

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It is obviously clear that the holding of the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Midterm election since 15-senators may not just be possible. One only needs common sense to understand that the current Ebola Outbreak spreading across the country will not allow the exercise to take place. Taking into account how the deadly Ebola disease is contracted, no Liberian voters would even dare assembling anywhere to listen to politicians or whatever candidates they call themselves; cueing to cast ballots, being cognizant of how the deadly virus spreads, would even be the most stupid thing for any well-meaning voter to do between now November 6 this year.

Using the Ebola Crisis

But don’t mind it; some of the heartless and unpatriotic senatorial candidates are still pushing for the holding the October 14, 2014 Senatorial election- can you imagine that? While the Liberian Senate is opting for an extension of the date, by way of suspending the Constitutional provision, some members of the same Senate are currently in a few counties vigorously campaigning under the guise of creating awareness/sensitization on Ebola- that’s a complete deceit to the Liberian senate and also a disservice to their consciences.

The election laws of Liberia forbid pre-election campaign activities when the National elections Commission or NEC has not announced and authorized the period for such activities. Again, the NEC may be fully abreast of these developments in many of the counties, but may be pretending as if it is not aware.

Even though a director at the commission once told me that the NEC was aware and was about to issue a statement against such political behavior, that decision is either yet to be made practical or the ongoing Ebola crisis may be used as an excuse. For example, in Bong County there are two senatorial candidates that at the forefront of the pre-election campaign activities- and I’m sure the Election Magistrates in the so-called Upper and Lower Bong will not deny that they are not aware.

These two candidates- incumbent Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor of the National Patriotic party and Augustus J. Flomo of the Congress for Democratic Change- also a former Chief Accountant and Acting Comptroller of Cuttington University continue to use the Ebola crisis to campaign with the belief that the election will take place.

In Bong Mines, Fuamah District, Senator Taylor continues to place her campaign photos on anti-Ebola items, including buckets for distribution among citizens and residents, indicating to them that such photo will be the one on the ballot paper, while former Cuttington University acting Comptroller Flomo has been following a similar trend in Gbarnga and its environs right before the Election Magistrates, probably, without any form of warning or action.

This should draw the attention of the Chairman and Commissioners of the National Elections Commission; and we must be told whether or not the actions of these two politicians are not in violation of the election laws of Liberia-if they are not, we are still open to an apology to them through this medium and if they are, the necessary action as provided for by the law, must be taken to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to demonstrate similar political behavior in the future.

Absolutely, there may be no problem that any well-meaning Liberian should have with politicians making donations to their fellow Liberians, especially during such time when our country is being hard hit by the deadly Ebola virus disease. Such efforts only buttress that of the Government of Liberia that cannot reach of all of its citizens- this could be commendable, if and only if the motives are not well-intended, i.e, when they place their ballot photos on anti-Ebola items, including buckets.

NB: The next edition of LOOKIN’ INSIDE FROM OUTSIDE will attempt to clarify the myth that the article- the Ways Banks Treat Their Customers  was sponsored by the UBA.

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