6 August 2014

Liberia: NEC Eyes Postponement of Liberia Elections Over Ebola

Monrovia — In the wake of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is recommending the postponement of the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

The Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya said the NEC may be unable to deploy staff in the field to conduct Civic/Voter Education as well as recruit and deploy 25,000 polling staff at polling centers in Liberia.

Chairman Korkoya said the Commission's recommendation is also based on the fact that the Ebola outbreak would hinder the smooth conduct of campaign activities by candidates who are desirous of contesting the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

He said the health emergency in Liberia may affect the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible election on October 14, 2014. The NEC Chairman made the recommendation Wednesday at a meeting with political parties and individuals whose names were recently published on the provisional list of candidates for the Election.

The Commission recommended that the election be postponed to the first week in December, 2014. In response, attendees of the meeting, however noted that due to the constitutional nature of the Special Senatorial Election, the Commission should take the appropriate steps to ensure that such recommended postponement is done in line with the laws of Liberia.

The meeting, which was attended by more than 90 persons representing political parties, and independent candidates, was the second in a series of meetings held with stakeholders in the electoral process in Liberia.

On Tuesday, the Commission held similar meetings with representatives of civil society organizations involved with electoral activities operating under the banner of the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC). Meanwhile, the Commission will meet with religious leaders in Liberia on Thursday, August 7, 2014 to discuss similar matters with them.


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