NEC Denies Allegation On “Rigging Of Election”
The National Elections Commission (NEC) says its attention has been drawn to an article in the Liberian Observer and circulated on social media, attributed to former Information Minister, Lamini Waritay, under the caption, “Only NEC Can Rig Election”. In the article, Waritay is reported as saying that the National Elections Commission (NEC) is the “only body” that has the power to “categorically rig” the October 10 polls. In a press release issued Monday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) observed, “The NEC, in no uncertain terms, categorically denies and condemns these allegations. This story has no basis in fact; it is false, misleading, and a dangerous attempt to undermine the electoral process and expose the Commission to disrepute and endanger members of its staff, while at the same time threatening the peace.” The NEC assured the Liberian people and the public that the commission does not “rig elections”, as there is no record to prove such a dangerous and baseless claim. “On the contrary, the NEC conducts free, fair, inclusive, and credible elections, and the records are available from past elections, and for the October 10, 2023 general elections Liberians can rest assured that the NEC will do so as well,” the NEC underscored.
The NEC called on all Liberians registered to go to the polls on October 10 to vote, assuring that their votes will count. As part of enhancing transparency of the voting, counting and tally processes, the NEC urged all candidates, independent and those from political parties, to send their agents to the 5,890 polling places in the 2080 precincts to take account of the polling and counting of votes at those polling places. At the end of polling and counting, the NEC disclosed that agents of candidates and political parties will sign the record of the count, attesting to the accuracy of the process. At the polling place, the agents of the two parties/candidates with the highest number of votes in the polling place will be given copies of the record of the count.
“Additionally, the announcement of winners begins at the polling place when the record of the count is posted on the wall in the polling place, in full view of candidates and party agents and local, regional, and international observers.
“It must be noted that a copy of the results is put in an envelope known as TEE, which is sealed in the presence of all agents and observers. The TEEs are later transferred to the election magistrates’ offices where they are opened and tallied in full view of everyone, and all the results are sent electronically to the NEC Headquarters, where the results are announced, first preliminary as they come, and then the final results are announced,” the NEC stated.
The Commission assured all Liberians, candidates, political parties, stakeholders, political actors and observers that the NEC is committed to ensuring that the necessary safeguards put in place for the conduct of the elections to which end the commission will announce the outcome of the votes from the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections in a credible manner.
Finally, NEC called on all Liberians and stakeholders to always contact the Commission when they are in doubt and refrain from these kinds of dangerous and unfounded stories that have the propensity to not only undermine the credibility of the electoral process but that could also put employees of the NEC in harm’s ways and even threaten the peace.