NEC Challenges NACEM To Be Credible

By: Lewis K. Glay

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted April 12, 2005


The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris, has challenged the National Committee for Election’s Monitoring in Liberia (NACEM) to exhibit credibility in the electoral process.

Cllr. Morris cautioned NACEM recently at the Corina Hotel in Sinkor when she inducted into office, members of the domestic monitoring group.

She told the monitors to be objective in reporting both the positives and negatives of election activities during the pending national endeavor. “Start the process with clean hands; be impartial and don’t come in with your party interest because there is no partisanship in this process,” she warned.

According to NEC boss, monitoring election process requires a long period or observation in order to determine the strength and weakness of the institution responsible for the conduct of elections.

Cllr. Morris regretted that NACEM would have commenced the exercise during the time when NEC intensely negotiated with the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) for the passage of the Electoral Reform Bill. “But I understand that we don’t have to begin the process”, she noted.

The head of the NEC also expressed confidence that the leadership of NACEM would provide accurate information to the commission and the Liberian people at large in order to “actualize one objective… to restore peace to our country again”.

However, Cllr. Morris said deplorable road condition in south eastern Liberia, coupled with damaged infrastructure in that region will create an uneasy access to electoral centers if nothing is done to swiftly address these concerns.

She said NEC has serious mobility problem and therefore called on NACEM to inform partners in progress to come to the aid of the Liberian people to ensure a successful elections in October this year.
Meanwhile, NACEM’s Chairman Benjamin Lartey has given the assurance that they will do everything humanly possible to help the electoral process.

He said NACEM will consciously monitor every step and trend of the process to avoid fraud, dispute and other vices that tend to nullify election results.

NACEM is a part of the legally registered Consortium of Civil Society Organization coalition for democracy in Liberia (CODEL); Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL) and West African Network for Peace Building (WAPNET), who have agreed to collaborate efforts in monitoring the upcoming legislative and presidential elections.

NACEM funding is said to come from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). A joint coordinating committee (JCC) from the three groups will be a clearing house to scrupulously monitor the conduct of the 2005 electoral process.

Those inducted were Benjamin D. Lartey – Chairman, Dan Saryee – Vice Chairman, S. Tornorlah Varplah – Secretary and Lyndon Ponnie – Member.

Others were Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, Rev. Christophus Toe, S. Segbe Nuanfor, Lindera Howard and Rev. Fahn Kollie.

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