West Africa: UN, ECOWAS Data Experts Arrived

-NEC announces

A team of data experts from the Economic Community of West African States and UNDP has arrived in Liberia to work with the National Elections Commission in cleaning up the Final Voter Roll ahead of the December 8, 2020 special senatorial elections.

This followed mounting pressure from the opposition community, particularly the leadership of the Collaborating Political Parties, who had gone to the Supreme Court to, among other concerns, ensure the FRV is cleaned up.

The CPP concerns followed persistent reports of multiple registrations by voters at various centers and voter-trucking by politicians to boost their chances at the poll.

Addressing a press conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, October 27, the chairperson of the National Elections Commission Davidetta Browne Lassanahdisclosed that four experts - three from ECOWAS and one from UNDP will work closely with the NEC data center staffs to ensure things are done professionally and technically.

Speaking at the conference also, the technical head of the team from ECOWAS, Mr. ChidiNwafor said, this is not the first time for ECOWAS to have assisted the Liberian electoral body with technical work.

He recalled that during the 2017 Presidential and Representatives elections, ECOWAS sent technical team here that worked with NEC in some key areas.

According to him, during their days with the commission, the team is open to suggestions from media, the ruling establishment and the opposition on how the process can be done professionally.

Mr. Nwafor narrated the team's term of reference is about 2020 Special Senatorial election and the 2023 presidential election, ensuring all issues relating to the data collection and processing are handled and all problems discovered at the commission will be handled professionally so that Liberian voters can have the best.

The data expert said findings from the work will be shared with the board of commissioners of NEC, authorities of UNDP, ECOWAS and the Liberian people through the media.

Meanwhile, the NEC board of commissioners has announced the commencement of exhibition of voters' pictures and particulars for public viewing and correction.

Madam Lassanahdisclosed the exercise commences today, October 28 to 31, and the full listing of voters will be displayed at various voting centers for viewing, urging registered voters to visit registration centers to update their records within the time frame.

At the same time, she announced the NEC has received US$5.6 million for the Special Senatorial election and that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has made strong commitment to provide US$13 million for the successful conduct of the election.

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