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 Chairman Korkoya's Press Briefing Note September 13th, 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:
  2. Final voter register distribution;
  3. Political party issues arising;
  4. Results management transparency of the polls

Voter register

  1. In line with the legal timetable and provisions set out in chapter 3 of the Elections Law, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has completed the final voter register. As required by section 3.19 of this law on further changes will be made to the register unless ordered by the Honorable Supreme Court. It is being printed and distributed. It will be available in all magistrates’ offices. An electronic copy is also being made available to political parties.
  1. Quality control measures have been put in place to check the printing of the register. A comprehensive manual registration from verification of the voter data was carried out as part of a quality checked and verification process. All the original forms have been checked against entries in the database for the entire country. All 2.1 million forms were checked.
  1. The final register contains 2,183,629 voters. A comprehensive set of integrity checks were made on the register and de-duplication processes conducted in advance of its release. In total, there were 4,567 (0.21 percent) incidents of duplication identified and corrected following appropriate examination.
  1. Of this small number of cases the large majority are where a voter has registered twice. There are special cases: for instance, there are 206 incidents where a voter registered more than twice and 30 individuals were identified as registering more than four times. These details will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for further investigation and if necessary appropriate actions will be taken.
  1. During the period of replacement of lost and destroyed voter cards, inclusions of 4,621 entries were made consistent with our earlier commitment made at the start of June 2017 to include any person that was identified as not being on the preliminary register that should have been there. Following this, deduplication, of the entire register was carried out.
  1. These two processes resulted in a final number of 2, 183, 629 voters on the final voter register.
  1. There are four people- all women-over the age of 100 on the voter register. Three of these are registered in Montserrado and one in Grand Cape Mount. And I would especially like to congratulate these distinguished citizens and voters.

Political party issues arising

  1. In respect to the requirement of political parties to submit accounts, statements of assets and liabilities pursuant to article83d of the Constitution and chapter 7 of the Elections Law, the National Elections Commission has still not receive from all political parties. The Board of Commissioners met to deliberate on this issue and will be addressing these cases in accordance with the law. Appropriate actions will be taken for political parties that continue to fail to comply with Constitutional and legal requirements.
  1. A presidential candidate, Rev. Kennedy G. Sandy, of the Liberia Transformation Party has notified the National Elections Commission of his intent to withdraw from the contest. Pursuant to the Elections Law withdrawal is not permitted at this point in line with section 4.7 (a) and the candidate has been notified accordingly.
  1. The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal in the Michael Slawion case on 12 September 2017. The Supreme Court is due to hear the case challenging the right of 11 political parties shortly.
  1. The National Elections Commission wishes to once more call on all political parties to be responsible of speech. It would, however, like to stress that unsubstantiated allegations or reckless statements made by parties could damage our process without grounds.
  1. Claiming the only way that it is possible to lose this election is through electoral fraud is simply, irresponsible. Nobody wants this campaign to be full of rumors and speculation. We all have a duty to ensure voters are properly informed. This duty cannot be served by irresponsible claims. No fraud will be tolerated in our elections Commission is deeply committed to these principles.

Results management and transparency of the polls

  1. The Liberian Constitution and the country’s laws govern the manner in which elections are conducted by the National Elections Commission. There is on scope of malfeasance reassure voter on candidate will either lose or win because of such malpractices. Our process is extremely transparent, there is a clear paper trail, and at every step of the process there are accountability mechanisms. This is fully in line with international best practice and standards.
  1. Polling is conducted transparently and accredited observers, media and relevant political party agents are entitled to visit polling stations throughout Election Day. Every step polling officials take will be observed.
  1. The result s management process is outlined in the Elections Law 4.12 and in following articles. A clear paper trail and stages of aggregation are in place. It is highly transparent process. Result sheets will be posted at polling places and signed by political party agents that will be observed.
  1. Results for both presidential and House of Representative elections will then be collected from presiding officers at polling places by electoral supervisors and securely transported to county tally centers overseen by magistrates. On arrival of the results sheets banks of clerks will enter the data into a database for transmission to the National Elections Commission’s headquarters.
  1. A set of integrity and inquiry tools are being designed for controls in the results management IT system. Once processed these results will be released as provisional results according to the National Elections Commission’s timelines. Final results broken down to polling place level will be published in full on the website of the National Elections Commission in line with international best practice.

Closing

  1. The electoral timetable is on track. The National Elections Commission will continue to provide updates and welcomes the participation of all media outlets at these weekly briefings. Next week we will update on training delivery of material and final preparations.

   



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