NEC reassures political parties, promises to account for all ballot papers – used or unused

Officials of the National Elections Commission have assured political parties and Liberians that the Commission will give account of all used and un-used ballot papers at the end of the October 10 polls.

The officials’ statement comes amidst growing public suspicion over the printing of excess ballot papers by the national electoral body.

Addressing the ninth edition of the Commission’s weekly press briefing, Chairman Jerome Korkyah, reiterated that the printing of excess ballot papers for contingency is an universal best practice, and not unique to Liberia.

“We are aware of news reports that some individuals, including politicians, have questioned the integrity of our electoral system in the media regarding the number of ballot papers printed.

“Although we have sufficiently addressed this question prior, the Commission would like to once more, reassure political parties, all stakeholders and voters that printing contingency ballots are consistent with industry standard practice,” Cllr. Korkoya said.

He added: “There are full accountability mechanisms in place to account for every single ballot paper. Every ballot paper will be accounted for at the opening and closing of polling places; those that will be used, not used and spoilt will be fully accounted for in a transparent and consistent manner.”

Chairman Korkoya said he is please with news reports citing the spokesperson of the Coalition for Democratic Change that the CDC recognizes that NEC is the only body in Liberia that has the power to release official elections results.

Cllr. Korkoya also used the last edition of the weekly media update leading to October 10 to call on political parties to be responsible, and not to release unofficial elections result that could mislead voters and supporters.

The Commission also reminded political parties and independent candidates that pursuant to the power afforded the national electoral body by Section 5.1b of the Regulations and Guidelines Relating to Political Parties and Independent Candidates, campaign will end at midnight on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

Commenting on the campaign controversy between the ruling Unity Party and the opposition Alternative National Congress or ANC, Cllr. Korkoya said NEC has written the ruling Party, informing it choose another option to avoid tension.

The ANC had earlier complained the Unity Party to NEC, informing the Body of the ruling Party’s plan to climax its campaign on 7th October, the same day the opposition party scheduled for its campaign launch.

Chairman Korkoya said the ANC had already submitted its campaign schedules to the Commission, indicating full details, unlike the Unity Party that did not state where it intend to climax its campaign.

By Sylvester Worwee

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