The National Electoral Commission (NEC) Liberia on Friday 29th September took delivery of another consignment of Ballot papers for the country’s October 10 elections.
A team of ECOWAS Long-Term Election Observers witnessed the arrival of the ballot papers for Legislative elections at the Roberts Airport.
NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya, who was also on hand to inspect the electoral material, which came from Accra, Ghana, confirmed that ballot papers for 45 out of the 73 Constituencies ordered by the Commission were received. The remainder is expected to arrive on 2nd October, he said, adding that the Commission had already taken delivery of the ballot papers for the presidential election on 17th September 2017.
The NEC boss confirmed that the contract for the printing of the ballot paper was awarded to a European firm, which outsourced the job to its Accra-based affiliate.
On the preparedness of NEC for the polls, he said “everything is going on smoothly.”
He assured that essential and sensitive polling materials were being moved to the country’s 15 administrative Counties, including with the support of UN Mission, UNMIL flights to hard-to-reach areas.
ECOWAS Long-Term Observers have been deployed to the Counties to observe the pre-, during and post-election processes, while the Core Team is based in Monrovia, covering Montserrado, the largest County. Supported by the ECOWAS Technical Team, the Core Team will also coordinate activities at the ECOWAS Election Situation Room, receiving and analysing field reports and preparing proactive responses to emerging challenges.
The ECOWAS Long-Term Observers will be joined next week by 50 of their Short-Term colleagues, and the entire Mission is led by Ghana’s immediate-past President John Dramani Mahama.
Liberia’s 2.18 million registered voters will on October 10 cast their ballots to elect the country’s 25th president from among 20 candidates – 17 sponsored by political parties and three independents.
More than 960 candidates are also vying for the 73 Parliamentary seats at stake in the critical election, which result could have implications for peace and security, and democratic governance in Liberia and the entire ECOWAS region.
The polls will be conducted in 2,080 Polling Precincts (Centres) with 5,390 Polling Places (Stations) across Liberia, Africa’s oldest Republic founded in 1847 by freed slaves from America. The country now has an estimated population of 4.5 million.
Out-going President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not seeking re-election after serving two-terms from 2006.