The fallouts from the just ended exhibition of the voters’ registration roll have reached the Plenary of the Liberian Senate.The Senate has summoned the board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission or NEC to give reason why they should not be held in contempt over the electoral body’s missteps in the voters’ roll exhibition process, which senators say have the propensity to undermine the credibility of the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections.
The voters’ registration roll exhibition which lasted for just five days June 12-June 17, saw the omission of hundreds of names of individuals with valid voters’ registration IDs.In the wake of fear expressed by some citizens over the process, NEC assured Liberians carrying legitimate voters’ registration cards full participation in the electioneering process.
“People with the issue of unavailability of photos during these exhibition periods should go to the various magistrates for photo taking and every Liberian, who has voter’s card, will vote. The errors wouldn’t affect you. “There is nothing to be worried about. People should stop creating unnecessary alarm. Please help us to explain to the people the only reason we are holding exhibition is to correct the errors.We are working hard to ensure a credible election that will be acceptable. We have a fine process; we are working under extreme circumstances; we don’t say don’t criticize,” Chairman Korkoya responds.
His comments were greeted with pouring criticisms from the public and some members of the Legislature, comments and criticisms he soon termed as “total nonsense!”The commissioners are expected to appear this Thursday, June 21, in the chambers of the senate.
The decision to invite the NEC board of commissioners was based on a communication dated June 19, written by Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper seeking the intervention of plenary to question Chairman Korkoya about the voters’ roll exhibition process.
Excerpts of the communication which was read in the senate’s plenary Tuesday, June 20 states: “I ask that we request the appearance of the NEC commissioners to speak to the severity of the irregularities in regards to the voters’ registration roll. We must be made aware of any problems that may impact the election process. It is our duty to ensure that the process is not flawed, and that we hold a free and fair election without violence and without questions regarding the validity of the outcomes,” the communication said.
According to Senator Cooper, the senate should ensure that Liberian are at ease with the process and that the senate holds an election that is without doubt, innuendos or questions about its validity. “It is paramount that the National Elections Commission be honest and bold with the people of Liberia.
Senator Cooper noted that the 2017 Representatives and Presidential elections will be a defining moment for the continuity of democracy and that will only be receptive of the results if they perceive the process to be transparent.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Othello B. Garblah