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National Elections Commission Warns Against Early Campaigning

National Elections Commission Warns Against Early Campaigning

Monrovia - It has come to the attention of the National Elections Commission (NEC) that some political parties and individuals desiring to seek political offices during the forthcoming 2017 General Elections are engaged in pre-campaign activities in violation of Chapter VI, Section 6 of the 2014 Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates.

The NEC has also observed that self-styled groups under names such as “Movements for….., Friends of…..” and others in support of  political parties, individuals and/or independent aspirants intending to contest the 2017 Elections are also engaged in activities that contravene the herein mentioned guidelines. The Commission states that it has not declared the start of political campaigning for the 2017 General Elections; therefore engaging in any of the following activities outside of the campaign period are strictly prohibited under Section 24.3 of the Guidelines:

Political Rallies;
Political Broadcasts, statement and political messages in print and electronic media;
Use of Posters, Fliers, buntings, advertisement on Billboards, public and private buildings, light poles and the internet;
T-shirts, caps and other promotional items; and
Individual Promotional stickers on vehicles

Because the Commission takes its mandate of conducting free, fair and transparent elections seriously, it strongly warns political parties, independent aspirants and groups engaged in such activities to desist with immediate effect as the Commission will not hesitate to take punitive actions against violators which may include decertification or suspension in the case of political parties. The Commission however states that as stipulated in Chapter VI of the Guidelines related to political parties and candidates the following activities are permissible during non-campaign periods:

Political party membership drive;
Establishment of party offices (both national and local);
Fund Raising Activities;
Use of Logo/emblems on offices, vehicles and other party properties;
Holding of political party national and local convention;
Political party meetings; and
Representational activities, including receiving and responding to petition from constituencies;

All political parties, individuals and self-styled groups are asked to adhere to these stipulations and govern themselves accordingly. Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission (NEC) in collaboration with the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 begin a two-day Election Security Coordination Workshop in Monrovia. The workshop is aimed at addressing the challenges and importance of elections security management within the context of creating a sense of national ownership for the 2017 elections as well as ensuring that decision makers are fully abreast of issues associated with elections security and the guiding principles that would lead to the attainment of free, fair and transparent elections in 2017. The workshop will also ensure that decision makers are fully committed to ensuring the timely approval of funds for elections in order to accord the Liberia National Police and other security actors the needed time to plan, organize and implement their operations for deployment during elections. The workshop will bring together 40 participants from the Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Fire service.

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