The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it has concluded arrangement with a company in Europe, to print ballot papers for the 2017 presidential and representative elections.
NEC said the company will proceed with the printing of ballot papers once the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) validates the procurement procedure agreed by the Commission and the unnamed European company.
Addressing the maiden edition of the Commission weekly press conference in Monrovia Monday, NEC Chairman, Jerome Korkoya said the printing of the ballot papers will cost Government US$ 1.5 million.
“Right now we prefer not to give the name of the company until the PPCC reviewed our recommendation and approved it.
“What we can say is that the bidder that was selected can be considered to be the most responsible bidder and is charging something like US$1.5 million dollar – that include the printing of the first round, the runoff, if there’s any and transportation of the ballot papers to Liberia,” Cllr. Korkoya said.
NEC boss further disclosed that the Government will not make payment to the unnamed company until the ballot papers arrive in the country and meet the satisfaction of the Commission.
He said in keeping with the transparency effort of the Commission, political parties will be allowed to rend representative to Europe to observe the printing of the ballot papers, if they so desire – but at their own expense.
The NEC chairman also told reporters that the Commission has open a bid for ballot paper designers, and the designs found it to be compatible for the 2017 elections ballots, will be forwarded to the printer in Europe.
Cllr. Korkoyah also revealed that since the end of the nomination process, NEC has received a total of 34 cases around the Code of Conduct and other nomination related issues.
NEC Chairman said 23 of the 34 cases on the code of conduct are being resolved based on the ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court in the Kanwea and Liberty Party vs NEC opinion.
The Commission also announced the creation of 5,390 polling places across the country for the 2017 elections. He said the allocation of the polling places is based on the number of registered voter.
“Each voting place will be allocated 500 voters maximum in keeping with the polling and counting procedures,” Cllr. Korkoya averred.
Meanwhile, the Commission is encouraging all registered voters, who may have lost or damaged their voting cards to take advantage of the ongoing replacement of lost/damaged voters’ card campaign by visiting one of the 99 replacement centers across the country.
The process that initially scheduled to run from July 7-12, this year, got underway on August 7 instead, and will end on Saturday, August 12.
By Sylvester Worwee