President Pro-Tempore Chie expresses Gratitude to NEC, Others
For Successful Outcome of Biometric Voter Registration Process Nationwide, …But asks Commission to create an additional period for those Who did not register
The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert T. Chie, has expressed gratitude to the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the successful outcome of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise in all fifteen counties of Liberia.
President Pro-Tempore Chie also thanked the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and the Liberia National Police (LNP) for helping to ensure a free and peaceful process.
The Senate Pro-Tempore then commended the efforts of local and international partners for their enormous contributions towards the conduct of Liberia’s electoral process.
Pro-Tempore Chie, who was speaking on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, when he addressed the opening of the Second Segment of the 6th Session of the 54th Legislature, nevertheless stated that, ‘‘the final results of the BVR process may not be what we anticipate in some of the counties due to the challenges of having limited centers far away from towns and villages; hence, the inability of many of our citizens to reach to voting centers, which in many instances are miles away, at times three to four hours walk.’’
‘‘Cognizant of elections being a nationally owned process, we commend efforts and contributions of our local and international partners in ensuring a successful election, however, their assistance should take into consideration the aspiration and the real needs of the voting population,’’ Pro-Tempore Chie pointed out.
‘‘Over and over, our citizens in the rural arrears had asked us to request NEC to create additional voting centers to enable them register and exercise their rights to vote. Unfortunately, NEC informed us that it was unable to create additional voting centers due to financial constraints. In view of the above circumstances, these challenges may have a negative impact on the outcome of BVR process compared to the recently held census, through which enumerators reached every nook and
Corner of the counties and counted all persons. Despite improvements that have been made in strengthening the electoral systems through reforms, we engaged our partners(local and international) to consider contributing financially to buttress our efforts of increasing these centers in enabling easy access for our people in rural parts to register without the torment of traveling far to locate centers in order to register. Hopefully, said assistance will be considered to improve the democratic process and systems at NEC, especially with the pronouncement of millions being contributed to the electoral process by some of our partners through the UNDP and other international organizations,’’ Senator Chie accentuated.
He continued, ‘‘ As we approach the General and Presidential Elections in October, by which fifteen(15) Senate Seats and Seventy-three(73) House Seats are up for contestation, it is important to reflect on the role of the Legislature in the framework of practicality and under the existing circumstances, especially meeting the high expectations of our people.’’
‘‘Sometimes I laugh when I hear utopian statements from new aspirants and others who have never had the opportunity to serve in these very hot Senate and House Seats. While the cardinal role of the Legislature in all parts of the world is to make law, clearly, other expectations of our people on the African Lawmaker are quite different from the one in the Western World. I believe the latter started where we are now and synergy will be achieved in the future. The conscientization is ongoing and will end in success one day,’’ he, among other things, added.