NEC Requests ECOWAS’s Support To Rollout BVR

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The National Elections Commission (NEC) has requested administrative and technical support from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission for the rollout of the Biometric Voter Registration system in Liberia to strengthen data management and build confidence in the BVR process.

    NEC Chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, made the disclosure when she welcomed the two-man fact-finding mission from ECOWAS last week to ascertain the status of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) and preparations for the 2023 elections.

   Lansanah said the NEC thought it wise and appropriate to call on the ECOWAS Commission, through the office of Ambassador Josephine Nkrumah, to provide support to the first-time conduct of the BVR in Liberia’s elections.

   “You will recall in 2017 that ECOWAS’ technical team was deployed to the commission and worked with our technicians to clean the voter roll, thus ensuring the credibility of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) prior to the conduct of those elections,” Chairperson Browne Lansanah intimated.

   She recalled that ECOWAS has always played a lead but critical role in Liberia’s peace process, particularly over the last two decades, and has given immeasurable support to democratic governance through sustained engagement with all actors and stakeholders in Liberia, including NEC.

   “NEC extends appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia and the ECOWAS Electoral Division for staying the course with NEC, and welcomes your intervention to ensure a resounding success of the biometric voter registration in Liberia,” Chairperson Lansanah noted.

   The Resident Representative of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, Ambassador Josephine Nkrumah, said the mission was the first of many others to be deployed in Liberia to gather information in preparation for the 2023 elections.

   “As a fact-finding mission, the delegation will listen to comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the 2023 general elections and how ECOWAS can assist the NEC. The mission has had insightful engagements with relevant stakeholders to the elections, including political parties,” Ambassador Nkrumah said.

   She said ECOWAS is assessing what support it can provide during the BVR exercise and general elections.

   Ambassador Nkrumah noted that if all stakeholders, including the media, can work together for the successful conduct of the BVR exercise and general elections, it would demonstrate to the rest of the world that Liberia’s democracy is maturely growing, even in the absence of UNMIL.

   She admonished the media to be fair in its report, because it must assist the NEC in providing adequate and massive civic and voter education. 

    The mission includes Francis Oke, Head of Elections Assistance of ECOWAS and head of delegation, and Ebenezer Asiedu, Principal Officer of the Directorate of Political Affairs.

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