Press Conference by Cllr. Jerome Korkoya
August 9, 2017
Press Conference by Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, chairman of the National Elections Commission on start of weekly press conference.
Good afternoon our partners of the fourth estate, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners and the workforce of the National Elections Commission, I welcome you to the maiden edition of our weekly press conferences.
As we get closer to the 2017 October elections, we believe that our weekly press conferences, code name “Elections Update” will give the voters, political parties and candidates, as well as our international partners a weekly update on the ongoing elections process.
Elections Update will also fill the void overtaken by speculations and negative insinuations about the 2017 elections.
We are glad that you have come and we urge all community radios to relay the national radio station ELBC and UNMIL radio for the sake of the rest of the people throughout the country.
Today we will inform you about a few important activities. Those issues include:
- Creation of Polling Places
- Complaints and Objection from 2017 Nomination Exercise;
- Ballot Papers
- Political Party Training Programs;
- Replacement of Lost/damaged Voters cards
- The creation of 5,390 polling places. The Commission has created a total of 5,390 polling places across the country for the 2017 Elections. The allocation of the polling places is based on the number of registered voters. You may be aware that each polling place is allocated 500 voters maximum in keeping with the polling and counting procedures.
- The Need to Complaint within Time Allowed by Law:
- Since the end of the nomination process the Commission has received a total of 34 cases bordering on the code of conduct and other nomination related issues. 23 of these cases bordering on the code of conduct are being resolved based on the ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court in the Kanwea & Liberty Party v NEC opinion.
- While we welcome complaints during every stage of the electoral process, we advise that those complaints be made within the time provided by the Elections Laws. Any complaint lodged outside of the laws will hinder the Commission from looking into them because doing so will be in violation of the laws.
- Ballot papers: we have concluded the process of selecting a company in Europe to print the ballots for the 2017 Elections. The company has gone through all of our procurement procedure and was determined to be the most responsive bidder. Party representatives and partners will be made aware of the full identity of the company after the approval of the PPCC of our decision.
- Currently, the Commission has contracted the services of a ballot paper designer to help design the ballot for onward submission to the printer. We have assessed his designs and found it to be compatible with our needs.
- As mentioned sometime back in one of our press conferences and at the IPCC meeting, three of the Commission’s partners (IFES, NDI & UNMIL) have agreed to support three very important trainings for political parties. The first of the three trainings (Campaign Finance) which is being supported by IFES with funding from USAID, will get underway on tomorrow in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. We call on political parties to take seriously this training as it is intended to capacitate them for the reporting period in September.
- The other two trainings on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Party/Candidates Agent Representation will get underway shortly.
- We thank our partners for such a great help to capacitate political parties to adequately participate in the 2017 Elections.
- Replacement of Lost/damaged Voters Cards
- As you all are aware, replacement of lost/damaged voters cards started on Monday and will end on Saturday, August 12, 2017. We encourage all registered voters who may have damaged or lost their voting cards to take advantage of this process by visiting one of the 99 replacement centers across the country to get their card replaced. Absolutely, there will be no other opportunity to acquire a new card after this period;
- As we get closer to the October elections, we again emphasize and urge all national and international partners to verify all elections related matters with the NEC. These are critical times and it is important to manage information to avoid violence.
- This also goes to our media partners and parties; NEC remains the final place to verify election matters.
Many thanks for coming.