Special Awards In Pictures

-Makes Further Recommendations
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed with the ruling from the Supreme Court and the recommendations that follow the case involving the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Liberty Party (LP).

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling and recommendations, ECOWAS Technical Support Team to the NEC conducted assessment concerning the issues that came out of the October 10, 2017 elections.

The findings that took place from November 26 to December 6, 2017 was basically tasked to make critical assessment of the register of voters used for the election, advise on possible improvement and other related matters as the commission prepares for the next elections.
Findings by ECOWAS:
During the findings, the team captured late procurement of optical mark registration (OMR) forms for field data capture, OMR distribution process, registration process, revised logistics, data processing pre-exhibition, exhibition of the voter roll, the publication of the final roll among others as some of the issues.
As part of the findings, the team said the existing roll, though it is not perfect, but can be used for a credible election. The team also said based on interrogations of the voter registration database, there is no indication that any voter was disenfranchised by not having his or her name on the voter roll.
According to the team’s report signed by Dr. Kwadwa Afari-Gyan and Engineer Chidi Nwafor for the team, there hasn’t been addition to the voter roll since September 10, 2017.
The team said from all indications, voter enlightenment, publicity and stakeholder engagement appear to be low as many Liberians are not aware of the workings of the commission.
“The queue management process at the precincts caused a lot of bottleneck on election day, creating the feeling that voters were disenfranchised from exercising their civic rights. Information dissemination to voters, before and during the elections were not sufficient,” the report says.
Recommendations from the Team:
The ECOWAS technical team recommended that procurement processes should always commence very early to enable timely delivery of materials and allowance of adequate timing for quality control.
It says lasting solution to the frequent voter enrollment exercises could be sought in having biometrics register at the next outing.
The group wants NEC to improve its voter enlightenment programs and stakeholders’ engagements as this helps to reduce tension among voters and political parties.
The team further recommended to NEC that in preparation for forthcoming elections, it has to design a mechanism of informing voters of their precincts and especially their polling places before the election.
In aligning with the Supreme Court ruling over elections dispute, the technical team said addition to the roll form should not be used for the forthcoming election, as it has generated a lot of controversies among others.
The report was released on Friday at the headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission in Monrovia.

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