By the Chairman of the National Elections Commission’s own admission, faulty cameras in many places are impeding the smooth registration of voters.
This is a very serious matter that needs to be addressed immediately, in order to allow this all important registration to proceed smoothly and be completed within the prescribed period – February 1 to March 7, 2017.
Fortunately, NEC and its development partner, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), have moved fast. They immediately contacted the camera manufacturers, Novateqni of Virginia, USA, and they quickly flew in and are on the ground at NEC headquarters doing the repair work.
The manufacturers took the call so seriously that the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Gerhard Mynhardt, himself flew in to join the repair effort.
In addition to the coming of the repair team, the manufacturers brought in dozens of new camera equipment, which have been sent to the southeast and other places experiencing camera malfunctions.
We commend Chairman Korkoyah and his partners, UNDP, for their expeditious action to address the camera crisis; and also the manufacturers, Novateqni, and its C.E.O., Gerhard Mynhardt, for their swift response to this crisis.
We are reasonably certain that with the massive repair work going on at NEC headquarters in Monrovia and the manufacturer’s CEO himself on the ground to make absolutely sure that the job gets done, malfunctioning cameras will soon be a thing of the past and the voter registration will proceed full speed to meet the March 7 deadline and the target figure of 2.5 million voters will be registered.
Another concern of the Daily Observer had to do with government allocation for the 2017 elections exercise, including the voter registration. But Chairman Korkoyah yesterday reassured this newspaper that GOL has allocated US$45 million for the entire 2017 elections process. And while, due to serious economic difficulties the government is experiencing at this time, GOL has disbursed the funds, not in a lump sum but bit by bit, as the needs arise. Chairman Korkoyah has indicated that things are on course.
He told this newspaper that unlike in the past, where heavy donor funding poured in for the electoral exercise, this time around almost the entire funding burden rests upon the government. There is a minimal amount of donor funding, such as UNDP’s provision of the cameras, but Chairman Korkoyah says most of the donor funding is being expended on the donors’ own activities surrounding the electoral process.