Monrovia – The National Elections Commission (NEC) has admitted that the process of cleaning the Final Registration Roll (FRR) as mandated by the Supreme Court is a tedious process.
They, however, guaranteed that the process would be completed within the period before the December 26 date scheduled for the runoff election.
Appearing before the Plenary of the Liberian Senate Tuesday, December 19, based on a request made by Senator Steve Zargo (LP-Lofa County), National Elections Commission Chairman, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, refused to response to questions from Senators about how and where he got his authority to set a date for the elections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s mandate.
There have been debates in every corner about the decision by the NEC to set a date for the runoff when it (NEC) has not fully implemented the mandate of the Supreme Court.
Recently, the Unity Party filed a Bill of Information before the Supreme Court asking that body to ensure that NEC provides information regarding the clean-up process of the FRR.
In response to questions about how he got his authority Cllr. Korkoya said - “I cannot comment because any attempt to do so honourable Senators will be prejudicial as you may be aware a compliant from the Unity Party is currently before the Supreme Court.”
Cllr. Korkoya’s request was granted by the Senate Pro-Tempore Senator Armah Jallah, who agreed with the NEC chairman that any attempt to do so could prejudice the case.
The Supreme Court is yet to rule in the case, but it has already heard arguments from the legal teams of both Unity Party and National Elections Commission.
Cllr. Korkoya and others could not also give specific dates for the printing and publication of the FRR but claimed that all is on course to hold the elections by the 26 of December.
Since the end of the first round of election of the October 10 polls, NEC chairman has come under serious criticism of conducting a questionable and allegedly fraudulent election with some calling for his resignation as chairman of the board of Commissioners of the NEC.
Making his case before the Liberian Senate, Cllr. Korkoya recommitted his credibility of conducting a free, fair and transparent election in the runoff.
He said as always being board members of NEC, they were credible enough and prepared to conduct a transparent election.
As part of the clean-up process, the NEC boss told members of the Senate that over five thousand names with duplicated identity and numbers were discovered in the FRR and that people who registered more than ones will have only one remain.
Korkoya also disclosed that the technical teams working on the FRR have discovered 400 plus names, which have issues of identity cards, will be replaced on the Election Day and it is being discussed between contesting political parties.
The Senate session ended in deadlock as Senators failed to agree to a motion to have Senators partnering with the NEC in the process of FRR cleaning.
A motion for continuance to continue discussion on the matter next Tuesday was filed and voted upon meaning Cllr. Korkoya and his board of commissioners will have to reappear before the Senate Thursday.