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 STATEMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF FINAL ELECTORAL DISTRICTS July 8th, 2011

FOR THE 2011 ELECTIONS BY HON. JAMES M. FROMAYAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION (NEC) FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, Fellow Citizens:
In keeping with the key electoral dates for the conduct of the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is pleased to release the Final Electoral Districts for the holding of the upcoming legislative elections.
Liberia Gets New Electoral Districts
That said, let the word go forth that Electoral Districts are not administrative districts- they are to be used only to elect members of the House of Representatives. For the 2005 elections, electoral districts were never clearly defined by geographic boundaries; instead, voting registration centers were simply amalgamated based on the 2005 registration numbers. But the new electoral districts take into consideration geographic boundaries in keeping with international best practice.
It will interest you to know that Article 80 (e) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia assigns the task of delineating electoral constituency to the NEC. But owing to the fact that the National Legislature in a Joint Resolution LEG-002 (2010) prescribed 73 electoral districts for the 2011 elections, and as such, mandated the Commission to reapportion the districts accordingly, the Commission had no alternative, but to implement the mandate of the Joint Resolution.

Derivation of Electoral Districts

In keeping with international best practices as it relates to electoral districts delineation, the Commission allocated House of Representatives seats to each county according to the “Special Electoral Threshold” based on the Joint Resolution passed by the Legislature on July 22, 2010.
Using Voter Registration figure, county population thresholds were calculated based on the number of seats and the number of registered voters in each county. Following the adoption of this methodology, the Commission drew provisional electoral districts for each county using established delimitation criteria.
Such criteria takes into consideration approximately equal number of voter registrants per electoral district within each county, with a maximum deviation of plus (+) or minus (-) 10% of the county threshold, except in extraordinary circumstances; the retention of administrative subdivisions (city, ward, township, community or amalgamated town) intact, contiguity, geographic features, accessibility and community of interests, similar culture, tradition, customs and beliefs, etc.
In the aftermath of this, public consultation with traditional and local authorities and county elders were held across the country where the provisional electoral boundaries were scrutinized to determine if any serious concerns have been overlooked in creating the electoral districts.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, based on the analysis of inputs by our technicians, the Board of Commissioners instructed that adjustments to the provisional electoral district boundaries for five counties, namely: Nimba, Sinoe, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Lofa be made.  The adjustments were done and what the NEC is releasing today is the final outcome of all the comprehensive effort/ inputs made by all.
The inputs and comments of the local and traditional leaders were reviewed by our technicians and the Board of Commissioners. Following this, the Final Electoral District Boundaries was produced in early July 2011 and is being published in the newspapers and in all the 19 NEC Magisterial offices across the country. Copies will also be given to registered political parties.
Please note that the numbering of the districts has also been changed and it is our hope that all Liberians will appreciate the new numbering of electoral districts.
Candidate Nomination
Candidate nomination will commence next week on July 16 up to July 19, 2011. During this period parties and independent aspirants will be expected to collect application forms from the NEC. The actual nomination of candidates will run from July 20 to August 15, 2011 in keeping with the electoral calendar.
Contrary to the view that the Commission is putting the cart before the horse, let it be known that, as a Commission, we had earlier scheduled political campaign for these elections to run from August 18 to October 9, 2011. But, as indicated during the declaration of campaign, the Commission decided to roll back the time for political campaign to July 5, 2011 based on appeals from most of the political parties.
The Commission wishes to inform the public that it has strived to keep to the timeline for the conduct of these elections and will endeavor to inform the public on every step of the electoral process.
I Thank You.

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Electoral Districts Final Electorla Districts.pdf - 136kb


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