Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Liberia’s Elections Commission Statement on Voting Thus Far

Source: Front Page Africa
 National Elections Commission - Monrovia - The 1,798,930 million registered voters in the Republic of Liberia are voting today to exercise their franchise in the second post war Presidential and Legislative elections.

Early reports from various polling places across the country indicate smooth polling with the poll opening in most polling places at 8:00 a.m.
Due to challenging weather condition occasioned by the mid October rains, few polling places experienced minimum delay in opening.
There were reports of down pour of rain in parts of Montserrado County and in other parts of the country while the weather was generally fair in most places.
Representatives of the various political parties and independent candidates were present in most of the polling areas. International and Local organizations are in the country to observe the process including the African Union, the European Union, ECOWAS, Citizen Union, OSIWA, the American Embassy, the French Embassy, the German Embassy, the Swedish Embassy and the Spanish Embassy.
Other international organizations observing these elections are the National Democratic Institute, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Search for Common Ground, Dynamique Des Afriques among others.
There is also an avalanche of local observer groups performing similar duties as well as journalists representing myriad of international and local media outlets who are covering the elections across the country.
Officers from the Liberia National Police, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Liberia National Security, National Fire Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency are deployed at the various voting precincts across the country.
The voting process has so far proceeded without any untoward disposition. Overall, the process has been peaceful. By mid-day today, voters were seen in long queues waiting for their turns to vote.
At some polling places, voters braved the rain to exercise their franchise while others are said to have walked for hours just to cast their votes.
The NEC hopes that all of the eligible voters will participate in these elections void of mishaps. The National Elections Commission wishes to note that the turn out during the morning hours was quite impressive as has been reported in both local and international media and there are signs that the trend will be the same till the polling places are closed at 6:00 p.m.
Concerns from some stakeholders over recent admission about the printing of excess ballot papers have claimed the attention of the Commission. The NEC wishes to clarify that according to international best practices, each polling place is supplied with equal number of ballot papers on elections day.
In addition, extra 5% of the contingency ballot papers are procured to avoid shortage of ballots during the packing and delivery to the polling places. The contingency ballot paper procurement is the internationally accepted standard practice for any election.
However, the additional printed ballot papers are not supposed to exceed the required 5% mark. Furthermore, each polling place is issued with 550 ballot papers (for each election) which include contingency ballot papers per polling places can be supplied with ballot papers from closely located polling places.
However, this process must be recorded as per procedures and observers and agents present at every polling place. This is done due to the transparency purposes to ensure that contingency ballot papers are accounted for at each polling place.
The NEC again wishes to encourage citizens of Liberia to make good use of these elections to vote for the candidates of their choice in the three categories in these elections”.
As the Commission stated previously, in any voting process, every single vote counts. Your one vote could determine which candidate will be elected in the three categories.
NEC encourages the registered voters that there is still time and those who will be in the line at the closing time will be given the chance to cast their votes. When the polls close at 6:00 p.m., counting of the ballots will follow immediately.
At the same time, the Commission hopes to hold a Press Conference by 9:00 p.m. tonight at the its conference room on 9th Street Sinkor.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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