Liberia: NEC Chairperson Wants Political Parties, Candidates Submit Schedules For Political Activities

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MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) is calling on all candidates and political parties to submit to the NEC its campaign activities to the Commission to avoid a clash in the schedule of political activities. The call was made Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court of Liberia lifted ban on campaign activities.

At a news conference on Wednesday, NEC chairperson Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah warned that the Commission will treat candidates and political parties on a first come first serve basis and asked candidates to honor the request to avoid a violent campaign process.

“Please note that the NEC takes seriously the submission of campaign schedules by all Political Parties and Independent Candidates as per the campaign requirements issued to all aspirants during the Candidates Nomination Period.

The Commission will give full priority on a first come, first serve basis to all Political Parties and Independent Candidates who have already submitted their Campaign schedules. Absolutely, no two parties or candidates will be allowed to launch their campaigns or close their campaigns on the same day.   

Madam Lassanah: “Now, therefore, for and on behalf of the National Elections Commission and in my own name as Chairperson of this Commission do hereby officially declare that the 2020 political campaign period is officially open for the Tuesday, December 8, 2020 elections.

“In so doing, the political campaign runs from today, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 and ends 24 hours before Polling Day, which is 6 December 2020 at midnight.”

“I wish to call on all candidates and their supporters to go about their campaign activities in a peaceful manner. Please avoid rancor and bitter exchanges. Show respect for each other as you go about your campaign activities in line with the code of conduct concerning campaign activities.

The NEC is also calling on candidates and their supporters to observe all public health regulations instituted by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health.

On October 9, the NEC was served a writ from the Supreme Court ordering NEC to stay all proceeding and or action on the listing or publication of qualified candidates pending the outcome of hearing on NEC and Jackollie case.

With the lifting of the stay order the NEC has published the final listing of the candidates for the special senatorial election and the by-election in Montserrado and Sinoe Counties with a total of 118 candidates. In Sinoe there are 8 candidates who registered and also in Montserrado County district #9 candidates registered for the by-elections.

 Supreme Court stay order

The Supreme Court’s decision came as a result of a petition for a Writ of Mandamus filed by Mulbah S. Jackollie, an aspirant for the December 8 elections, who was reportedly denied candidature by the NEC for reasons yet to be known, to contest for the Senate seat in Margibi County.

In addition to Senate aspirant Mulbah S. Jackollie, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) the most vocal opposition political alliance comprising four political parties, including the former ruling Unity Party (UP), recently filed a petition for a Writ of Mandamus demanding the National Elections Commission (NEC) to clean the final voter register roll (FRR) of 2017 which is still in use.

CPP, in their petition, also called on the Supreme Court to compel the National Elections Commission (NEC) to not combine the Montserrado District #9 and Sinoe County District #2 Representative by-elections respectively with the Special Senatorial Election scheduled to take place on December 8.

CPP also includes the Alternative National Congress (ANC), the Liberty Party (LP) and the All Liberian Party (ALP) all in addition to the former ruling UP.

Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh denied the CPP’s first petition for a stay order on all processes leading to the December 8 Special Senatorial Election, including the combination of  Montserrado District #9 and Sinoe District #2 Representative by-elections with the December 8 polls, but later on accepted the petition, coupled with aspirant Jackollie’s, and called on NEC to put a halt to all activities until there is a hearing and an outcome.

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