The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

“NEC Magistrates Are Corrupt”
…Says VP Taylor

By Bill W. Cooper
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has described as “corrupt” some Magistrates of the National Elections Commission (NEC) nine months to the country’s crucial 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Addressing the 8th Edition of the Arch-Bishop Michael Kpakellah Francis Intellectual Discourse over the weekend in Monrovia, VP Taylor stressed, “Most of the electoral Magistrates are bent on taking bribes from politicians to render elections-dispute in their favor.”
The 8th Edition of the Arch-Bishop Michael Kpakellah Francis Intellectual Discourse was held under the theme: “Rising Insecurity, Misinformation, Money Politic and Efforts Diversion Threats to the 2023 Elections.”
Madam Taylor who is also the Vice Standard Bearer of the ruling CDC at the same time called on the NEC to ensure the rotation of its Election Magistrates, and thereby reminded citizens of a famous Liberian and African adage, ‘if catfish comes out of a river and says alligator is suffering from headache, then, who are you to deny?

“NEC Magistrates Are Corrupt”
She explained that most current Magistrates of the NEC are corrupt and have overstayed in one location or another, describing this as unacceptable, and thereby alleged, because most of the current Magistrates of the NEC have overstayed their assignments, it has rendered them to compromise elections results.
The Vice President who is also the Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), a constituent party of the ruling CDC also accused them of accepting finance and gifts in advance to decide the winners of elections in several elections.
However, VP Taylor’s accusation against the Elections Magistrates comes amidst concerns from opposition politicians who have been calling for a complete overhaul of the entire leadership of the NEC beginning with its Chairperson, Davidetta Browne-Lassanah over fear of being compromised.
Many have expressed lack of trust and confidence in the leadership and the ability of the current leadership of the NEC, in the wake of the corruption scandal, ahead of the pending October 10 polls.
Also, the NEC has also been embroiled questionable procurement practices in the awarding of contracts not on a merit basis, dating back at the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections and most recently, the one that gives rights to LAXTON to provide Biometric Voter’s Registration materials.
The NEC administration itself was split over the awarding of the contract to LAXTON, something that saw the Commission to abruptly delay the Voter’s Registration process, failing to start on December 15, 2022. It has instead been postponed and is due to start on March 20, 2023.
Such delay has even made matter worst to the extent that many political players fear that if the issue is not quickly arrested and dealt with, the country might run into constitutional crisis, with pro-democracy group like the Elections Coordination Committee, ECC warning that it could be a recipe for chaos.

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