NEC Receives Fund to Pay Arrears Owed December 8 Polling Staff

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NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah

— Davidetta Browne Lansanah has announced

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced that it has received funding from the government to settle all arrears owed to polling staff in the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election.

At a press conference held at its headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia yesterday, NEC Chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, said the government has disbursed funds for the settlement of the arrears owed the temporary staff who were recently seen protesting in demand of their pay.

“Meanwhile, the NEC wishes to inform all temporary staff that Government has made available the money to clear off all their arrears. The money has accordingly been transferred to the mobile companies (Lonestar and Orange) to make payments through mobile money. While this process is ongoing, the NEC asks all polling staff to be patient as your money will get to you,” Madam Lansanah said.

She reported that the government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has provided a total of US$10 million of the total amount of US$13,599,585.87 to the Commission for the Special Senatorial Election, the two Representative by-elections in Montserrado and Sinoe as well as the National Referendum.

Madam Lansanah said the $10 million is from the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 fiscal appropriations by government.

“The government has reassured the Commission through demonstrated commitments that the balance of US$3,599,585.87 will shortly be sourced and disbursed to the Commission to facilitate the payment of liabilities to vendors,” the NEC chairperson further said.

Election Disputes

Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah said both the elections dispute office of NEC and the Board of Commissioners have looked into complaints coming from Grand Kru, Rivercess, Montserrado District #9 and Bomi Counties, but there will be no certification of any winner from those areas unless the matters are disposed of by the Supreme Court of Liberia due to appeals taken by candidates who feel the NEC’s rulings could not be accepted.

“You may recall that the Board of Commissioners recently ruled in the case regarding alleged electoral malpractices in Grand Kru County. In its ruling, the NEC mandated a recount in 3 polling places in Grand Kru County.

“That re-run election was successfully conducted on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 in three precincts in Beloken Town Hall, Wakpo Public School and Boluwein Town Hall and tally of the results for Grand Kru County is now one hundred percent complete, but let me be quick to inform you that the Liberia National Union (LINU) has filed a complaint against the re-run election in Grand Kru County,” Lansanah said.

She said a recount was, on January  January 21, 2021, also conducted in Rivercess County at seven polling centers said to have been in dispute, but Steve Tequah, and independent candidate and a main contender to Wellington Geevon Smith, has filed a bill of information requesting that recount be carried out at all polling centers in the county.

She thanked all, including the media, for supporting NEC in the recently held Senatorial elections and the National Referendum.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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