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Senate Cites NEC

By Bill W. Cooper
The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been cited by the plenary of the Liberian Senate to provide update about the Commission’s readiness to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in October of this year.
The NEC Board of Commissioners headed by its Chairperson, Davidetta Browne-Lansanah will also abreast that body with the Commission’s plans of conducting the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections without impediments.
The plenary’s decision was triggered following a communication from Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence alarming about issues that are unfolding at the Commission ahead of the country’s much anticipated Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Interestingly, Senator Karnga-Lawrence Communication came at the time Liberians are poised to go to the polls to elect 73 new Representatives, 15 new Senators, and a President to steer the affairs of the country for the next six years on October 10, 2023.
Recently, there have been series of issues being unfolded at the Commissions over what many described as a “power struggle” following reported misunderstanding or fight between some Commissioners and the Chairperson of NEC.
In addition to what has been reportedly been unfolding at the Commission, the current Legal Officer at the NEC is also undergoing Senate investigation on grounds that he was denied by the Supreme Court of Liberia to be admitted as Counselor at Law thus disqualifying him for said post.
As means to address all of these concerns, Sen. Karnga-Lawrence stated, “Colleagues, the ensuing October 10, 2023 general elections presents yet another historic opportunity for Liberia to foster a continuous path of sustained peace and democratic governance under the rule of law.”
The opposition Liberty Party Political (LP) leader explained, “And to achieve this momentous accomplishment, the 2023 elections must be conducted in a credible, transparent, free and fair manner as guaranteed by the new elections law of Liberia.”
This, Senator Karnga-Lawrence maintained, “Given the above, I am constrained to bring to this body’s attention the NEC’s inability and preparedness to conduct the pending elections as there are already visible indications that the Commission is running against time to conduct the nationwide Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) exercise.”
“So, as leaders, the onus is upon us to address these concerns to avoid problems now or after elections, which I believe if it happens, could have some effect on our already fragile peace and stability,” she added.
Meanwhile, the NEC entire Board of Commissioners and Chairperson are expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 following a motion from Grand Bassa County Senator, Jonathan Kaipay.

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