The National Election Commission (NEC) says it is just implementing phase one of the Supreme Court’s mandate which comprises three phases, namely pre-runoff election activities; Election Day activities and post run-off activities and said such implementation process will be concluded in the middle of this week.
“The technical team expects to finish the clean-up by the middle of next week; that after the clean-up, the two contesting parties will each be provided with a copy of the cleaned Final Registration Roll (FRR); that after the clean-up, NEC has made plans to immediately begin printing; and after printing, the cleaned FRR for each county will be sent to the Elections Magistrate concerned, and published at polling places across the county days before the run-off election,” the Commission said.
The elections body was ordered by the Supreme Court to fully and expeditiously implement its entire mandate before the conduct of runoff elections but the Commission said the implementation of the Supreme Court’s mandate is not an event but a process.
This statement from NEC suggests that it may not be able to fully implement the High Court’s mandate as there remain just a week to the conduct of the December 26, 2017 runoff elections.
According to NEC, phase one namely pre-runoff election activities, entails the conduct of the full clean up of FRR to ensure that multiple names of identification numbers are removed; that voters’ identification numbers are unique by preventing more than one voter from having the same number; de-duplication of the FRR, publication of the FRR; availability of the FRR in hard copies to all elections magistrates and polling places, limiting the eligibility to vote only to those on the FRR.
Additionally, NEC said to ensure the cleaning up of the FRR, they requested the ECOWAS and the regional body has sent a team of technicians to Liberia to assist with the cleaning of the voters roll.
The NEC says during the December 15, 2017 meeting, the Technical Team discussed the proposed clean-up road map and answered questions from the two contesting political parties and that the Unity Party did not interpose any objection to the proposed road map.
It added that phases two and three, namely Election Day activities and post runoff election activities, respectively, entail the smooth conduct of polling, the counting process, the announcement of the results in conformity with law and refraining from prejudicial utterance that may compromise the neutrality of the NEC as adjudicator of post-election complaints.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah