NEC Launches Civic Voter Education

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NEC Chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah

-As ruling coalition, main opposition, shun signing Code of Conduct

With less than one hundred days to the December 8 Special Senatorial Election, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has launched the civic voter education (CVE) without the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the main opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) showing up to sign the political parties code of conduct.

CPP is the newly certificated political alliance comprising the former ruling Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP), the Alternative National Congress (ANC), and the All Liberian Party (ALP).

Both the ruling CDC and the CPP were nowhere around Wednesday, August 19, 2020, to affix their respective signatures to the code of conduct that compels all registered and participating political parties to ensure peace and stability during all processes of the election.

Mo Ali, the assistant secretary of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), a member of the CPP told the Daily Observer that the CPP’s absence was not deliberate.

“We want a peaceful election and we were a part of the making of that instrument. I am not the official spokesperson for the CPP but, for the record, it could be an oversight. The absence of the CPP was not intentional,” Ali said.

All efforts, including phone calls and text messages to get the ruling CDC’s response on why it was not a part of the signing of the code of conduct, went fruitless as the executives contacted did not answer in either way.

However, at the launch of the CVE, NEC Acting Chairperson Davidetta Browne-Lasannah said:  “In pursuance thereof, we have assembled once again for the launch of another Civic and Voters Education (CVE) outreach. This occasion is an integral part of the electoral process because it marks the beginning of the CVE activities across the country.”  She added:  “The voter roll (VR) update exercise is not new voter registration.”

NEC’s announcement of the date for the commencement of the voter roll update exercise is in preparation for the December 8 special senatorial election. The announcement is in accordance with Article 80(c) of the Constitution and Section 3.1(a) of the New Elections Law of Liberia.

Madam Lansanah said People whose voter registration cards in 2017 have no problem, or they have not moved or changed their respective electoral districts, will use the voter cards they bear now.

She added that if one changes his or her name legally on the purpose of marriage or some other means, he or she will have no need to apply for the voter roll update (VRU).

“Those who did not register during the 2017 voter registration; first-time voters, those who have attained the age of 18 or above since the 2017 registration; those who have moved, relocated and wish to be captured under a new voting precinct; and those who misplaced or damaged their 2017 Voters’ cards, are eligible to be a part of the voter roll update,” she explained.

The voter roll update will be conducted at 2,080 centers (precincts) across the country and will run for 15 days (beginning September 11 to the 25th) and the Commission said there will be several teams of voter roll update personnel, and each will travel to assigned centers, remain there for three days to conduct the VRU, and then move to another update center within the same county to continue the exercise.

NEC, in ensuring that Liberians are informed about the Update exercise, it has recruited, trained, and will deploy 146 civic educators and 146 gender mobilizers across the country.

“The Commission has also accredited and certificated over 300 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) that have expressed their desire to assist the Commission in the civic education outreach exercise, NEC boss pointed out.

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