Elections Commission Issues Ultimatum Against Pre-campaigning
Monrovia – The National Elections Commission (NEC) has given politicians and political parties one week ultimatum to remove their banners, bill boards and stickers or face the punishment of being disqualified by the commission from contesting October elections.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
NEC chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya at a news conference Tuesday said people who have pictures of individuals promoting them around the country should remove them in one week.
“Whether they were put up by friends of John or movement of somebody, the commission has given one week notice to remove everything.
Magistrates around the country have been instructed to collect the names of people who will violate and submit to the NEC for further action which might include being uprightly rejected consistence with the laws.
“We are giving one week notice. And to political parties holding rally, rally are allow under the laws but doesn’t required wearing political parties T-Shirt around.
People in the habit of printing copy books and spreading it around in the name of helping students must also stop. You don’t need to put your pictures on copy book. The only reason I see people will want to do that is to cheat by putting themselves ahead of the others,” he said.
In further comments, the NEC boss threatened disqualification for violators.
“Anybody caught in this will not be considered. We have so much to do and cannot be running behind grown up responsible people who say they want to be President because the very decision you make to want to be President requires you to be responsible and being responsible is living in line with the laws, he added.
Cllr. Korkoyah said over the past days he has received a lot of calls from concerned citizens who have questioned the Commission’s silence over what they perceive as violation of the pre-campaigning regulations.
“They have accused the NEC of not doing anything. Some things are easily said than done, we as the body that controls, we are guided by law. If we do not find the legal basis to move we cannot move simply because we feel we have power to move.
“We have jurisdiction over people who submit themselves to the Commission to contest for public offices other than that we don’t have control over people in communities. So people more or less may do what they want to do and when they want to do it and the Commission will have no legal basis against those people,” said the Chairman of the National Elections Commission.
Cllr. Kokoya added: “In an attempt to address the issue of pre-campaigning we have revised our regulations with respect to pre-campaigning the new rule that will be published very shortly is that if you have any interest now or later to contest the 2017 election you cannot pre-campaign which will include putting up banner, stickers and bill boards. It is getting too rampant it has to stop,” Cllr. Korkoya said.
Article 77 of the Liberian Constitution in part requires that Liberian citizens who have attained the age of 18 be registered as voters and to vote in public elections referenda. In keeping of this constitutional provision the NEC has announced the start of the voter registration process Wednesday February 1, 2017.
The process is expected to run from February 1-March7, 2017 with registration centers opened from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday to Saturday. During this period, according to the NEC chairman, 2.5 million Liberians are expected to be registered.
The NEC boss boasted of having all materials needed for the process for voter registration in country including, cameras, solar panels, and forms and have been delivered to the various NEC various warehouses in the counties for onward deployment to registration centers.
As part of preparation to the process, NEC says a total of 416 registration supervisors have been trained and deployed with 8,400 registration staff including registrar, with 438 civic voter educators and 219 genders mobilizers trained and deployed.
The National Election Commission also said there have been additional 300 registration centers to add to the existing 1,780 this was done to reduce distances between polling centers and population clutters in polling places.