Ballot Papers to Be Printed in Europe

5
1982
National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Jerome George Korkoya

Authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday announced that they have hired a European company to print ballot papers for the October polls. Jerome G. Korkoya, NEC chair, made the disclosure yesterday during a regular weekly press briefing at the Commission’s headquarters in Monrovia. Korkoya said the Commission has already concluded the process of selecting a “reputable company” noted for printing election materials, including ballot papers, from Europe. “The company has gone through all of our procurement procedures, and was determined to be the most responsive bidder,” Korkoya said.

Although Korkoya did not name the company in question, he said NEC will encourage all qualified political parties’ representatives as well as independent candidates to go to Europe and monitor on behalf of their respective institutions the ballot printing process, but added that those interested in going to Europe to authentic the process will do so at their own expense. “They will pay for their own plane tickets, lodging and internal travels therein in case any group of friends choose to go to Europe,” Korkoya added.

He said the Commission will ‘very soon’ make known to the public, dates in connection with the printing of the ballot papers after NEC concludes consultations with the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC). “Currently, the Commission has contracted the services of a ballot paper designer to do the designing of the papers for onward submission to the selected printer in Europe. We have assessed his designs and found out that he is compatible with our needs,” he said.

As of the other electoral issues, Korkoya reported that the Commission has created 5,390 polling places around the country for the ensuing elections, and that each center will be entitled to attend to 550 (maximum) registered voters on October 10. He noted that the assignment of such numbers of qualified voters to each center is in line with the Commission’s counting procedures.

In a related development, Korkoya said IFES, NDI and UNMIL have agreed to support three very important training programs for all qualified political parties. “The first of the training which is supported by IFES will be on campaign finance and is expected to kick off tomorrow (today) in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The funding for this training will come from USAID,” Korkoya noted. He encouraged all political parties to take advantage of the training so as to learn how to meticulously manage and spend their finances in the ongoing campaign. The other two training expected to get underway will be on alternative dispute resolution and the representation of parties and candidates by their agents at the polling stations.

About complaints and objections filed to the Commission, he noted that 34 cases bordering on the Code of Conduct and other related nomination related issues were received and heard by it. “Twenty three of these cases bordering on the Code of Conduct are being resolved based on the ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court in the Karnwea and Liberty Party versus NEC opinion,” he said. He urged that “While we welcome complaints during every stage of this electoral process, we advise that those complaints be made within the time provided by the Elections Law. Any complaint brought forward outside of the laws will hinder the Commission from looking into them because doing so will be in violation of some of the same Elections Law.” Korkoya admonished that all those whose voter cards are missing or damaged should take advantage of August 7 to 12 as the only time set aside to replace lost or damaged voter cards. As for national and international partners working with NEC now, he called on them to verify all elections matters directly with the Commission, instead of through outside sources and spreading rumors that may cause havoc.

He, meanwhile, said the Board of Commissioners at the NEC will today hand down rulings in the Sando Johnson-Edwin Snowe domicile case and the Snowe-Karmo voter registration objection case.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. When European countries are having their national elections do they print their ballot papers in Liberia or Africa?

    How long will we live like this?

    Sending all the hard currencies back to Europe.

  2. Ballot papers for Liberia upcoming elections being printed in Europe ,seriously? I read the cost of printing is around 1.5 million, so in short we are giving back to Europe that much,very interesting.

  3. There is a need for the Elections commission to print her/it own ballot papers instead of printing that in Europe. We need to take responsibility of our own destiny and not always depending on the Europeans. This news is really getting to me. When are we going to trust our own system? Instead of political parties members travelling to Europe to monitor the printing of ballot papers as said by NEC, such printing could be done right there in Liberia. Waste of resources. As my brother Emmanuel rightfully said, we do not really need the Europeans for this. This must stop.

  4. Why go elsewhere to print Liberia’s ballots when the United States Government has the most powerful machines in sight. Instead begging the American people for health care money to corrupt, ask to print our ballots. The Liberian might pay .05% less than price to Europe.
    Gone to 57% now in control. Tell the Liberian people.

  5. Once again it is the crooked UN Elections Advisor George Barashtavili at whose advice the ballots are being taken to an Eastern European country, a former Soviet republic for printing. Prior to this the ballots have all been printed in Ghana. Why now the shit to Europe and then inviting parties to observe the process.

    Realistically speaking, the printing of ballots is a confidential affair whose details are and should only be known by the NEC. Samples are first produced and shared with the parties for input or vetting. This has been the practice since 2005.

    And so it is troubling that parties are being invited to Europe to observe the process. How many parties with the exception of perhaps not more than three can afford round trip tickets and hotel expenses are merely to see where printing of the ballots are being done.

    This is just another crooked scheme to benefit Barashtavili and the NEC cabal and in the end the Liberian people will suffer while the foreign nationals (Barashtavili & Korkoya) will go laughing their way to the bank.

    Why can’t the exercise be video- streamed live and why not disclose to the public the name, address and contact details including phone and fax if NEC is indeed serious.

    Of even more concern is the fact that it is the same UN Elections Advisor George Barashtavili who headed the purchasing of faulty cameras for the VR Process is the one now leading the process. And it is being done through a non competitive bidding process.

    More besides

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