Expect Low Voter Turnout

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Looking at the irregularities associated with the voter registration process on the part of the National Elections Commission (NEC), a 2005 presidential hopeful, Mr. David Farhat, has said Liberia will experience the lowest turnout of voters during the upcoming elections.

“Authorities of the NEC kept announcing that the voter registration process was starting on February 1st, but today, we continue to see too many irregularities ranging from faulty cameras and limited registration centers around the country, among others,” Mr. Farhat noted.

He said the people of Liberia remain discouraged and disenchanted about the entire election process, while the NEC continues to perform very poorly throughout the country thereby increasing voter apathy.

Mr. Farhat made the remarks Thursday during an interview with reporters at the University of Liberia (UL), where he stressed the need to devise new strategies that will decrease voter apathy.

Mr. Farhat, who is silent on whether he will join the opposition or Unity Party (UP), said, “If the voter registration process is a mess in Montserrado County, what will the process be like in the rural parts of the country? NEC is yet to even complete discussions with some of the places for voter registration.”

“We have been running elections for some time now and need to start using some of those materials instead of looking for new ones every time or asking people to help in providing the country with electoral materials.”

According to him, there is a need to change or replace authorities at the National Elections Commission in order to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in October.

In spite of the Commission’s cries for resources to conduct the elections, Mr. Farhat said the NEC is yet to properly use the money already generated, especially for the voter registration process.

“We need to utilize the available resources and leave the issue of begging people and countries every day to assist in our country’s elections,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Farhat welcomed political parties forming a coalition for the upcoming elections, saying, “This will help to reduce the burden on NEC in terms of validating parties. We also need to reduce the number of political parties especially looking at the country’s population.”

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