Low Voter Poll Worries President

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed serious concern about the low voter turnout during last month’s Special Senatorial Elections when the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) led by its Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Kokoyah recently briefed her on the outcome of the election and formally presented her with the results.

Expressing consternation about the dismal show of voters last month, the President said government was still trying to find out what was responsible.

She stressed that it was important for the NEC to do a critical reflection on the process and find out what could be done much better next time especially as the country moves toward the general and presidential elections in 2017.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the visit by the NEC took place last Tuesday in the temporary office of President Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry.

Chairman Kokoyah was accompanied by NEC’s Co-chair Sarah Toe, Commissioners Jonathan Weedor, Davidetta Brown Lassana, Sam Joe and the Executive Director, Lamin Leigh.

The NEC Chairman, on behalf of his colleagues, said that the NEC was pleased and satisfied with government’s protection of the independence of the Commission.

“Madam President, let me personally thank you for respecting and protecting the independence of the National Election Commission. You promised just that when you appointed me along with other Commissioners and I am pleased that you kept your word. You absolutely respected our independence and there was no interference. This is a real boost to our democracy and we owe it to you and the Government of Liberia,” Chairman Kokoyah said.

He commended the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Health, Justice and the various security parastatals for the various roles they played in the conduct of a free, fair, transparent, safe, peaceful, credible and successful election.

In response, President Sirleaf thanked the NEC for efficiently and effectively managing the Special Senatorial Election process.

“My government remains committed to giving the NEC its independence and to completely avoid interference in any form and kind. I am also glad that the NEC could basically conduct the 2014 Special Senatorial Elections on its own without the usual deeply involved international partners. This is a reflection of growth and maturity of our democracy and real hope for the future,” declared President Sirleaf.

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