r training for polling
The first level of training in preparation
for polling day began in
r recruitment of polling staff underway
The nationwide recruitment of polling
staff in all counties is in progress. Local communities have been informed
through meetings with local leaders and opinion leaders, who in turn have been briefed
on the dates and venues for recruitment, testing and training by NEC County
Electoral Supervisors and UNMIL Electoral Support Officers. Recruitment is to
be completed by September 23, in order to ensure that by October 7, all 18,600
Polling staff throughout
DC 101 will re-broadcast UNMIL radioís interviews of
presidential candidates. These will be played once or twice a day, until DC 101
catches up with UNMIL radio, who have been airing these interviews since September
1, with the broadcast being done twice daily of the same candidates. The
coverage area of DC101 is restricted to
To complement the process of accrediting
Observers and Political Party Representatives, 5000 copies of Guidelines and
Code of Conduct for Representatives of Political Parties, Accredited Coalitions
and Alliances, and Independent Candidates are to be widely disseminated
Political Party and Independent Candidatesí
Representatives are urged to commit themselves through a signed declaration, to
abide by the laws of
Giving an update on her recent 7-day tour of Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Bong counties, Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris said she was able to meet with NEC local staff and their UNMIL counterparts in the six counties, and assess their preparedness to conduct/supervise the polls.
The Chair inspected the NEC county offices and was briefed on the amount of work accomplished, which includes confirmation of polling precincts and places, commencing the recruitment of polling staff, and training of Assistant Magistrates in Monrovia. She also held meetings with local leaders and addressed some of their concerns regarding the large number of presidential candidates, the manner in which electoral districts were demarcated.
The Chair and her team distributed Civic/Voter Education materials to the local people and sensitized them about the electoral process and on the importance of electing good leaders.
The tour afforded the Chair an opportunity to personally experience and understand some of the difficulties and challenges facing NEC staff and other electoral workers in the field. She noted that due to deplorable road conditions, particularly in Lofa, some areas have become inaccessible. She also cited logistical difficulties caused by frequent breakdowns of Magistratesí vehicles. Cllr. Johnson-Morris however indicated that UNMIL Engineers have been doing a great job in rehabilitating some major roads and repairing damaged bridges.
inaccessibility of some parts of
The Chair said the staff have always shown commitment and dedication to their duties, and she believed they would strive to overcome the odds, even if it meant trekking from village to village to deliver polling materials. She emphasized, though, that the success of the October 11 elections rests upon the cooperation of all Liberians and urged them to do whatever they can to support the process.†
clarify rumors circulating that the ballots will be taken outside of
In response to a question about whether the election results will be announced progressively or kept until the total comprehensive results are available, the Chair said the NEC has not yet made a decision about how and when exactly the results will be announced. However she said the Commission will ensure that it upholds the Election Law requirement that the results be announced within 15 days of the polling date. The Chair explained that results of each polling place will be made available to Political Party Representatives assigned at the polling place and present during the counting of the ballots.
Asked to explain how the results will be forwarded to NEC Head Office from the Magistrate Offices, Cllr. Johnson-Morris said the Commission will use various mediums of communication including e-mail, telephone, etc.
In response to concerns that IDPs who did not make it to their county of origin by Election Day will be disenfranchised, the Chair responded that a substantial number of IDPs had returned home since registration, so the numbers involved are not too high. She also added that those who are still in IDP camps are being provided the opportunity to vote for President, so they are not completely excluded from the process. She stated that the International partners responsible for returning IDPs to the homes are continuing with this task and it is the NECís belief that the involvement of IDPs will be substantial on polling day.