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 NEC Chairman Korkoya's Press Briefing Notes September 27th, 2017

Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya

Chairman, National Elections Commission

Regular press conference

  1. Welcome to this weekly press conference and update on preparations for the 10 October 2017 general elections.
  1. I want to highlight and respond to arising issues including:
  1. Delivery of election material;
  2. Progress on training of polling staff;
  3. Campaign issues arising;

Delivery of election material

  1. Electoral preparations are on track. Presidential ballot papers were received on Saturday, September 23, 2017and transported to a secure location under the protection of state security.
  1. The second batch of ballot papers for House of Representatives is expected to arrive in country on September 28, 2017.
  1. As we noted before in prior briefings there are 5,390 polling stations across the nation. Each polling station will receive a total of 550 presidential ballot papers and 550 representative ballots in keeping with practice.

There are 3,053,435 presidential ballots broken down in the following order:

550 x 5390 = 2,964,500 plus: %3 contingency allowance.

2,964,500 x .03 = 88,935

2,964,500 + 88,935 = 3,053,435

There are  3,112,725 Representative ballots broken down in the following manner:

550 x 5390 = 2,964,500 plus: %5 contingency allowance

2,964,500 x .05 = 148,225

2,964,500 + 148,225 = 3,112,725

  1. One representative candidate standing in Nimba County district 7 died of natural causes. Pursuant to the Elections Law, articles 4.7A and 4.7B the details of the candidate will remain on the ballot paper.
  1. We are pleased to report that UNMIL has graciously agreed to airlift electoral materials to the following hard-to-reach areas. These areas are: Gbarpolu, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee counties. The Commission is grateful to UNMIL for this kind and timely intervention. The Commission is also grateful to the Government of Japan and the UNDP for supporting the deployment of election security officers.
  1. Deliveries of non-sensitive electoral materials are in progress under escort and protection of state security.
  1. The deliveries of sensitive electoral materials are as follows:

Destination

Mode of transport

Scheduled despatch

Bomi (Tubmanburg City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Upper Bong (Gbarnga city)

Road

2-3 October 17

Lower Bong (Totota City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Gbarpolu  (Boporlu city)

Helicopter

3-8 October 17

Grand Bassa (Buchanan City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Grand Cape Mount (Robertsport city)

Road

2-3 October 17

Grand Gedeh (Zwedru City)

Helicopter

1-6 October 17

Grand Kru (Barclayville City)

Helicopter

3-5 October 17

Upper Lofa (Voinjama City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Lower Lofa (Kolahun City)

Helicopter

4-7 October 17

Margibi (Kakata City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Maryland (Harper City)

Helicopter

1-6 October 17

Upper Montserrado (Bensonville city)

Road

4-6 October 17

Lower Montserrado (Brewerville City)

Road

4-6 October 17

Upper Nimba (Sanniqullie City)

Road

2-3 October 17

Lower Nimba (Tapita City)

Helicopter

1-6 October 17

Rivercess (Cestos City)

Road

1-6 October 17

River Gee (Fishtown city)

Helicopter

1-6 October 17

Sinoe (Greenville City)

Sea

1-6 October 17

 

Progress of training of polling staff

  1. Training of polling staff is continuing and is on schedule. The next phases will include training of 11,000 presiding officers and voter identification officers scheduled to start on September 29, 2017. During the first week of October 17,000 polling stations staff will be trained in procedures. All planned trainings are scheduled to be completed by October 6,2017.

Campaign issues arising

  1. The National Elections Commission has received the following complaints growing out of campaign activities:
  1. Complaint by the Liberty Party against the CDC alleging campaign violence which occurred in Sanniquellie, Nimba County. This complaint has been referred to our independent hearing office for investigation.
  1. A second complaint was submitted by Mr. Bill Twehway, a Candidate for the House of Representatives on the ticket of the CDC, against Mr. Ceebee Barshall, a House of Representative candidate of the Unity Party. That complaint has also been referred for investigation.
  1. The Liberty Party also filed a complaint against the Mayoress of Voinjama City, Lofa County alleging unfair charges for campaign banners in the city.

Closing

  1. Let me emphasize that the electoral timetable is on track. The deadlines are tight, but the National Elections Commission is prepared. Voters are encouraged to use the SMS text service to check their polling place details: 1847 is the number.
  1. Final arrangements are also being made to establish a media centre in advance of the elections day and results process.
  1. I want to end by stressing to all political parties and independent candidates in these elections to remain clear of violence during their campaigns. Let us all remain committed to a peaceful elections.

Further updates will be delivered as the election preparations reach their conclusion and the National Elections Commission will continue this weekly update next week, our final week before the scheduled October 10, 2017 elections.



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