NEC Worried Over Lack of Logistic
...Yet to Receive Over US $200,000

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 17, 2004

The National Elections Commission of Liberia(NEC), says it is lack of funds and basic logistics to carry out its work for the conduct of the 2005 General and Presidential elections, as Patrick K Wrokpoh reports

The Commission said it is currently working on the budget for the conduct of elections but that the NTGL has approved the amount of US$250,000 through the Ministry of Finance as its initial contribution to enhance the work of the commission.

The NEC’s Chairperson Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris said, the required amount is yet to be made available to the commission despite several efforts to get the amount from the Ministry of Finance.

Speaking at the NEC’s offices in Sinkor during its first acquaintance meeting with the press, Commissioner Morris said the unavailability of funds was hampering the work of the commission, stressing that time is running out and is not in the commission’s favor.

Commenting on the financial status of the NEC, Commissioner Morris said there was no credible financial system in place at the commission prior to the sitting of the incumbent commissioners. She said under the immediate past Elections Commission, no sound financial system existed stressing that her leadership is now in the process of gathering financial status of the past commission from individuals.

Commissioner Morris said information received thus far, suggests “some small amount of money” belonging to the commission is in deposit at the Tradevco Bank.

She emphasized that since they took office, they have not seen any credible financial record adding “we are inviting credible CPA’s to put in place a sound financial system.”

On the issue of whether the commission inherited any vehicle from the Paul Guah-led ECOM, Commissioner Morris said they did not inherit any vehicle. She wondered as to whether vehicles assigned to members of the immediate past commission were given to them as gifts or for official use.

In a related development, Commissioner Morris has confirmed reports that some employees of the commission are being replaced. She said the move is part of the reform process of the commission, stressing that the issue of election is no joking matter and as such, there is no need to employ unqualified people.

She said the process will continue since the entire electoral process has to do with trust and confidence adding, “I know it is painful, but we all have to accept it”.

Responding on behalf of the print media, The INQUIRER’s Managing Editor Philip Wesseh commended the commission for the meeting and stressed that the press is an important partner in the entire electoral process.

Mr. Wesseh said since the media has an important role to play in the process, the commission should take interest in employing competent journalists in its communication department. He added that there are competent and qualified journalists who are willing and prepared to leave other activities to contribute their services to the commission.

He called on the commission to consider payment to the print media on time whenever their advertisements and other work were published in the papers.
For his, Mr. Singbe Johnson, Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System(LBS), who spoke on behalf of the electronic media, promised that they will cooperate with the commission in its work. He called for an improved working relationship between the media and the commission.

Representatives from both the local and international media institutions attended the meeting.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.