Liberia: National Elections Commission (NEC) Statement Following Voting

NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya’s post-voting statement, delivered minutes following the close of the 2017 runoff polls on December 26, 2017.

PRESS STATEMENT

Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya

Chairman, National Elections Commission

26 December 2017

  1. Welcome to this press conference and update on the presidential runoff elections.
  1. I want to highlight and respond to arising issues including:
    1. Update on the election day;
    2. Incidents to report:
    3. Counting process:
    4. Official and provisional results.
  1. Voting has closed but the National Elections Commission would like to remind all stakeholders the process of counting and tabulation of results is continuing. The National Elections Commission is the only institution that has the authority to release election results and it calls on both political parties competing in the elections to refrain from declaring a result until the official results are released.
  1. So far the election process and voting in the presidential runoff election has been smooth and there are marked improvements on the 10 October 2017 election day. The systems the National Elections Commission has put in place are working.
  1. There have been no major incidents to report of a technical nature and voting was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere. The Liberian National Police were deployed across the country and the National Elections Commission would like to thank the service men and women for their support in ensuring a secure and peaceful election day.
  1. Except in very small number of Polling places, all polling places opened at 08:00 hours this morning. For example in Lofa voting precinct # 21051 the polling places opened at 09:20 hours because of late delivery. In Montserrado #. 30486 polling opened 15 minutes late because polling staff were waiting for party agents. Where there has been any delay in opening of polling places the National Elections Commission has instructed staff to account for the delay by closing polling later.
  1. Whilst nationwide polling has been smooth there are an extremely small number of incidents to report. Where incidents occurred they have been dealt with on the spot immediately following the reporting of the incident: In Zubah Town, Mother Sarah School system VP# 30126 voter was witnessed to have two ballot papers police are investigating. A polling official undermined his impartiality at a polling station in JHP Hope VP# 30025 when he posted on social media his political choice and he was immediately removed from the post and replaced. And there was an incident in a polling place 1 in Broluco school VP# 30319 that was dealt with. The National Elections Commission wishes to stress these types of incidents were extremely rare and were dealt with according to the law.
  1. The National Elections Commission also wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to polling staff including the five poll workers from Nimba and Grand Bassa that were in road traffic accidents preparing for this election day. The injured are receiving treatment and our prayers are with them.
  1. Counting of the ballot papers has now commenced and is currently being carried out nationwide. This counting will be undertaken under the full view of political party agents and international and national election observers.
  1. By tomorrow morning, 27 December 2017 at 11:00 hours the tallying of results will commence and the National Elections Commission will continue to release provisional results as they arrive. Once again the National Elections Commission would like to remind all stakeholders including the media that it alone is responsible for the announcement of election results. And only results released by the National Elections Commission should be reported as official ones.

End

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