19 September 2017

Liberia: To Whom Much Is Given, National Elections Commission


LIBERIA IS IN DIRE A NEED OF REVENUE much needed one too. For the past five years, the country has experienced successive budget shortfalls.

THIS WAS DUE TO MANY REASONS, including not reaching the targeted forecast and other unforeseen circumstances such as the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2014 and the drop in value on the world market of our major export commodities: rubber, iron ore cocoa etc.

DUE TO THIS, THE COUNTRY HAS FOUND itself in dire financial straits, pressing itself to make hard and unpalatable financial choices, casting and recasting, and thus leaving many government parastatals with an unhappy inner feeling.

AS A RESULT, A HUE OF OUTCRY BEGAN to roll by the Justice department, the military AND the National Elections Commission. The NEC perennial cry of under funding reached the highest decibels of those who hold our purse strings and those who contribute to our national kitty.

SOON THEREAFTER, AN OUTPOUR OF support began to flow from all sections of the heavens for the commission which holds the lifeline of Liberia's future which currently stands at a crossroad as the nation heads to election in October to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

HOWEVER, IN SPIRIT DE CORPS, the National Elections Commission, it seems, is not acting in tandem with that which is expected to them and we should not be raising in this editorial.

THE NEC RECENTLY UNVEILED ITS fleet of vehicles which showed its logistical readiness to conduct the 2017 general and Presidential elections in every nook and cranny of the country.

HOWEVER, IT HAS FAILED to register with the Ministry of Transportation and obtain the necessary plates, a violation of the vehicle and transport law of Liberia. Chapter 3, Subchapter A, section 3.1 states that registration of vehicles is a requirement in Liberia, for the proceeding years.

THE TOTAL AMOUNT FOR THE REGISTRATION of the NEC's fleet of vehicle is a paltry 25,800, far below the millions received in budgetary allocations and external support from donors and other bilateral partners.

ASSUMING THAT A VEHICLE FILLED with ballot papers gets hijacked while on its way to a polling center, how does NEC work with the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Transport to trace such vehicle when it has not been registered as per the vehicle and traffic laws of Liberia?

A SIMILAR VIEW SHARED BY SAMUEL WLUE, Minister of Transport. "It's unbelievable that the NEC will forfeit on registering their vehicles," Minister Samuel Wlue said in a chat with FrontPage Africa.

REGISTRATION, ACCORDING TO THE MINISTRY, enables them and the Police to collaborate in unforeseen circumstances that may affect the fleet of vehicles during operation.

THIS ELECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT, so is the rule of law which must be shown and exhibited by the NEC during all of its proceedings because if the referees cannot follow the rules, the players and the spectators are bound to go amok on the pitch.


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