All Liberians from the age of 18 and above are required to register to vote in the up-coming Voter Registration Exercise, scheduled to be held from February 1 through March 7, 2017.
Explaining this to the Daily Observer yesterday, National Elections Chair Jerome Kokoya said this registration is absolutely necessary in order for any Liberian citizen to be able to vote in the ensuing presidential and legislative elections.
“It is important for our people to know that even though some of them may have registered in 2005 or in 2014, when the last voter registration took place, it is mandatory to register again during the ensuing voter registration scheduled from February 1 to March 7, 2017.
“Anyone who fails to register within that period will do himself or herself a great disservice, because that person will not be able to vote in the 2017 or subsequent elections,” he said.
Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpa confirmed that Chairman Kokoya had requested of him in January 2017 to instruct county superintendents to mobilize all other local leaders within their respective jurisdictions to assist the NEC in the ongoing civic and voter education activities and general preparations for the 2017 elections.
Dr. Tokpa said superintendents have been mandated to instruct and encourage town, clan and paramount chiefs and other local leaders to inform the people in the cities, towns and villages that Voter Registration for participation in the 2017 elections is scheduled to commence from February 1 to March 7, 2017.
Internal Affairs will also engage town criers twice or thrice a week to inform and encourage eligible Liberians 18 years and older to register and obtain their voter registration cards during the scheduled period of February 1 to March 7.
Meanwhile, NEC has released the final list of candidates qualified to contest the Lofa County District #1 by-election slated for February 28. In a statement yesterday, NEC said the total of nine candidates have successfully met all requirements set by its office.
“Eight of the candidates are males and will be vying on the tickets of political parties, while one female will be contesting as an independent candidate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Eugene Fallah Kparkar,” the NEC’s statement said.
The contestants are Jeremiah Saah Borlay of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction; James T. O. Peter of the Alternative National Congress; William Tamba Kamba, Sr. of the Movement for Economic Empowerment; William Saah Kettor of the Unity Party; Joseph Tamba Machulay, Sr. of the Liberia
Transformation Party; Francis Sakila Nyumah, Sr. of the Union of Liberian Democrats; William Saah Tamba of the Liberty Party; Tamba Dacious Saysay of the All Liberian Party; and the lone independent, female contestant, Elizabeth Tamba.
NEC has officially declared campaign opened as of January 23 until midnight, February 26.