Editorial: The National Elections Commission (NEC) And The Request For BVR Extension
THE NATIONAL CIVIL Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country, has called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to extend the process of voter registration in the six counties of Montserrado, Margibi, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Grand Bassa on ground that several persons were left out in the first phase and many more may be left out in the second phase either due to technical problems that occasion the process or due to low publicity/CVE. The council urged the NEC to provide additional time to the BVR owing to its significance to the entire electoral process.
THE CIVIL SOCIETY body had from the earlier stage of the registration called on Liberians of voting age to turn out in their numbers to exercise their civil franchise; however, its latest call is predicated upon recent reports by two stake-holding election observatory bodies, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) and Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON).
NCSCL MAINTAINED THAT a number of problems along the way necessitate the need for additional time after the entire process, and that due to the critical nature of political participation to the growth and development of the country the commission should provide additional time that would enable voters to form part of the October 10, 2023 general and presidential elections.
“THE NATIONAL CIVIL Society Council hereby calls on the NEC to ensure that the process is holistic, participatory and void of interference. Therefore, we hereby call on the commission to add at least a week or two for the BV,” a statement from the NCSCL pointed out.
HOWEVER, THE NCSCL call runs into the resolve of the National Elections Commission (NEC). Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah on Friday, March 31, 2023, stated, “Let me reiterate that the BVR in Phase One ends on April 9, 2023 and there will be no extension.” Chairperson Browne Lansanah was undoubtedly referring to the financial cost involved in such an accommodation and its possible interference with the general electoral schedule of the October 10, 2023 general and presidential elections.