Liberia: CSO Council Craves Citizens’ Full Participation in NEC BVR Process


As the much-publicized biometric voters' registration (BVR) process kicks off on March 20, the National Civil Society of Liberia (NCSCL) is craving the indulgence of eligible Liberian voters to rise to the occasion and turn up to register. 

The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) is the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country.  The National Elections Commission (NEC), will begin phase one of the BVR process for the first six counties today. The six counties include Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Bassa, and Montserrado. Phase one will run from March 20 to April 9. Phase two will run from April 21 to May 11,  the rest of the other nine counties.

In a statement carved under the signature of its Chairperson, Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai urged Liberians of voting age to turn out in their numbers during the registration period to exercise their civil franchise. 

NCSCL maintains that owing to the critical importance of political participation to the growth and development of the country, eligible Liberian voters should take up the responsibility to form part of the ensuing political process. 

The Council indicates that the pending elections are a test of the nation's democracy, and as such, Liberians of voting age must join the process to firstly get registered and then vote for the candidates of their choice. 

During the impending electoral process, Liberian voters will troop to all 2,080 voting precincts, or 5,911 voting centers, to vote for a President/Vice and vice president, 73 representatives, and 15 senators, whose terms in office would expire. 

"The National Civil Society Council hereby calls on the NEC to ensure that the process is holistic, participatory and void of interference. The chairperson re-emphasizes the need for stakeholders to revisit the Farmington Declaration because there are early warning signs of violence. She also stressed that elections are not worn or have issues only on election day, but the entire electoral circles should be systematic and adhere to the rule of law. 

Additionally, she encourages the NEC to take due cognizance  of emerging issues of the reduction in the number of precincts in some districts from the list of precinct/VR Centers that was released to the public few days ago by NEC.

She  and if this situation is not handled with care might cost some distraction of the entire process, adequate information sharing should be the hallmark of the NEC and the NEC should ensure that no Liberians of voting age should be disenfranchise from their right to participate in the election due to the long-distances they had to travel. 

At the same time, the Council is also calling on the National Elections Commission to provide regular updates of the BVR process and all other processes leading to the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections. 

The Council also wants to appreciate all of the development partners for standing with and supporting Liberia does-far most especially the European Union (EU) and others for supporting the NCSCL.