Republic of Liberia
National Elections Commission (NEC)
PRESS BRIEFING NOTES 19-July-2005
CLLR. FRANCES JOHNSON-MORRIS
CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION
? NEC COMPLETES DETERMINATION OF OBJECTIONS EXERCISE
One hundred and eighty four people who were rejected for ineligibility during the April-May Voter
Registration exercise will now be able to vote in the 11 October Elections in Liberia. Another 71 whose
names were challenged during the 30 June to 2 July exhibition of the Provisional Registration Roll (PRR)
have also retained their right to vote on polling day.
This is the result of the recently concluded Determination of Objections exercise which took place
from 11-13 July. A total of three rejections and 117 objections were upheld by County Magistrates of the
National Elections Commission (NEC). In addition, 993 persons who were in possession of valid voter
registration cards, but whose names were not on the PRR, have now been included.
As stated previously, during the exhibition period, those who lodged objections or challenged names
on the Roll were given the opportunity to substantiate such challenges, with the burden of proof falling upon
them. In addition, those persons rejected during the registration exercise who were issued with rejection
forms were given the chance to provide one of six required proofs of their eligibility in order to register.
County Rejections Rejections Objections Objections
Upheld Overturned Upheld Rejected
Upper Montserrado 0 3 3 12
Lower Montserrado 1 76 14 16
Grand Bassa 0 97 0 9
Margibi 0 3 0 9
Grand Cape Mount 0 0 0 0
Gbarpolu 0 0 0 0
Lofa 0 0 3 11
Bomi 0 0 5 2
Upper Bong 0 0 89 0
Lower Bong 0 0 0 0
Upper Nimba 0 0 0 3
Lower Nimba 0 0 1 1
Grand Gedeh 0 0 1 0
Maryland 0 0 0 0
Grand Kru 0 0 1 0
River Gee 2 0 0 0
Sinoe 0 0 0 0
River Cess 0 5 0 8
TOTALS 3 184 117 71
? NOMINATIONS PROCESS KICKS OFF
Nomination of candidates by registered parties and independent candidates will begin this Thursday
21 July and end on 6 August. A help desk to assist nominees was available from yesterday, 18 July and will thbe operational throughout the process. Located in the National Investment Commission building (NIC), 12
Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, the desk is a ready source of information and guidance on the nominations
procedures. Related forms and the manual with requirements are also available from the help desk.
No applications will be accepted after the closing date of 6 August. Nominations will take place
every day except Sundays and the Independence Day Holiday. Early submission of nominations is
encouraged to allow corrections and amendments to be made. The final list of candidates will be published
? REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL ALLIANCES AND COALITIONS ENDS TODAY
Today is the last day for political alliances or coalitions to be issued with certificates of registration
from the NEC. The Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL) composed of the Liberian Action
Party (LAP), Liberian Unification Party (LUP) and the People’s Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL) was
registered on 15 July. This coalition joins the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD), composed of the
United People’s Party (UPP) and the Liberia People’s Party (LPP), which was registered on 4 July.
In addition to these alliances and coalitions the number of political parties registered is still 30.
[The parties registered to date are the Reformed United Liberia Party (RULP); Freedom Alliance
Party of Liberia (FAPL); National Vision Party (NATVIPOL); Liberia Destiny Party (LDP); Independent
Democratic Party (IDP); Progressive Democratic Party (PRODEMP); National Party of Liberia (NLP);
Liberia Education and Development Party (LEAD); the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC); Union of
Liberian Democrats (ULD); Liberty Party (LP); United Democratic Party (UDP); True Whig Party (TWP);
United People’s Party (UPP); Liberia People’s Party (LPP); National Patriotic Party (NPP); Reformation
Alliance Party (RAP); People’s Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL); Liberia Action Party (LAP); National
Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL); Unity Party (UP); Liberia National Union (LINU); Liberian
Unification Party (LUP); Free Democratic Party (FDP); All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP); Progressive
People’s Party (PPP); Labour Party of Liberia (LPL); Liberia Equal Rights Party (LERP); National
Reformation Party (NRP) and the New Deal Movement (NDM).]
? NATIONWIDE DISTRIBUTION OF VOTER EDUCATION POSTERS AND FLIP-CHARTS BEGINS
Nationwide distribution of the poster, "Our Vote, Their Future" is underway. This is the kick off for
a campaign which will run for the next four months and just one of numerous other visual aids that will be
released to encourage the full participation of registered Liberians in the upcoming elections. The "Our Vote,
Their Future" poster urges Liberians to vote for the benefit of their children’s future.
The arrival of flip charts this week will mark the start of a countrywide face-to-face communication
drive. The flipchart uses a combined visual and narrative style to educate the public on various topics such
as knowing your candidates, steps for polling, and the private nature of casting a ballot. A medium that was
also used during the registration exercise, the flip chart is effective with smaller audiences, and is a valuable
tool in generating in-depth discussions about the electoral process.
? UNDP MOBILE MEDIA UNIT PROJECT
UNDP is preparing to launch a Mobile Media Unit (MMU) which will be fully operational by 1
August. One of the key activities of this Unit will be the dissemination of Voter/Civic Education messages
via film for the 2005 Elections. The MMU will travel throughout Liberia, focusing on rural and hard-to-
In each area, a short film will be shown, followed by discussions which will be filmed as they occur.
These discussions will in turn be shown to other communities to reflect cross-cutting societal issues. The
MMU is an innovative tool which allows the Liberian public to digest messages visually, and its
participatory nature allows for the quick incorporation of local vernacular and cultural nuances. The MMU
will operate up to and include polling day.
? NEC PUBLISHES ELECTORAL DISTRICTS
Last Friday, the NEC published the 64 Electoral districts that have been delimited for the Election in
October. The newspapers which have displayed these districts so far are the: National Chronicle, New
Democrat; Heritage; Informer; Daily Observer; Inquirer; The News; Independent, and the New Broom. The
Forum, Poll Watch, and Plain Truth will also feature the list.
As this is a very lengthy document, if members of the press require details of the districts, they can
contact the NEC Information Officer, Bobby Livingstone.
? SUMMARY OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
When asked whether any progress has been made by the NEC on the prosecution of the 200
individuals whose registration had been found to be suspect, the NEC Chair said the Ministry of Justice had
not contacted the Commission with a progress report, nor had it requested that witnesses be brought forth
for legal proceedings. “The case is still in the hands of the Ministry who handed it over to the litigation section”, she said.
Elaborating on the eligibility of persons who had not registered to vote but wished to run for
political office, Cllr. Johnson-Morris stated that the holding of a voters’ card was a pre-requisite for being a
candidate, stressing that this was clearly stated in the guidelines.
When asked if the NEC was going to be rigid about keeping to the deadline which states that today
is the last day for political alliances or coalitions to be issued with certificates of registration, the Chair said
that the Commission would be flexible, but within reason. “The NEC encourages the forming of alliances
and understands that the process of forming these partnerships may require extensive negotiations between
the parties. If an extension of a few hours or days is required, this may be considered but not two to three
weeks.” To date, only one alliance and one coalition have been certified by NEC.
Responding to a question on the number of Independent Candidates on record, Cllr. Johnson-Morris
said that the process had not yet ended, [it starts on 21 July and ends on 6 August] and therefore a final
figure was not available.
On the issue of the number of polling places for the election, the NEC Chair said people would cast
their vote where they registered. One thousand, five hundred and eleven centres had been opened for voter
registration and there would probably be just as many, if not more polling places given that the maximum
number of people allowed to vote at any one booth would be 500 [to 600]. She went on to say, however,
that voter registration centres (VRCs) that were close to each other - as had been the case in places such as
Monrovia for example - might be consolidated through an exercise designed to make polling more efficient.
“We are adjusting VRCs on the proviso that no one should walk more than 30 minutes to get to a polling
place” as against the four to five hours that some people did for the registration exercise”, she added.
The NEC chair explained that the final number of people on the registration roll was not yet
available as the process has not ended. Following the determinations process last week, appeals might have
to be dealt with following the proceedings with Magistrates. She pointed out that additional appeals might
be made to both the NEC and the Supreme Court. “Until the process of objections and appeals is exhausted,
we will not know the final figure on the roll”, said Cllr. Johnson-Morris.
In response to a follow up question on what prompted UNDP to set up a Mobile Media Unit to
disseminate civic/voter education to remote areas when the NEC had a responsibility to roll out such
activities, the Chair stated that the Commission could not successfully conduct civic education alone. “We
need partners and that’s why they’re here”, she said. “We choose town meetings with elders as one of our
approaches while one of our partners has opted for the MMU. We are trying to complement rather than
outdo each other”, she added.
Addressing developments in the case brought against the Liberian Action Party (LAP) for premature
campaigning, the NEC chair said that a draft of the final ruling was currently being edited before being
issued to the relevant people. She explained that such a ruling had legal consequences and therefore required
a thorough review process.
In closing, NEC Co-Chair James M. Fromayan drew attention to an error in a recent news editorial
that mentioned the donation of 18 vehicles by the Economic Commission for West African States
(ECOWAS) to the Commission last week and pointed out that the donation had been made by Abdulsalami
Abubaker, the Chief Mediator of ECOWAS and not the Executive Secretary as had been reported.
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