Liberia: Warning against illicit election campaign

Cllr. Jerome Korkoya heads Liberia's National Elections Commission

Cllr. Jerome Korkoya heads Liberia’s National Elections Commission

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia has warned some political parties and individuals desiring to seek political offices during the 2017 general elections to stop pre-campaign activities.

NEC, headed by Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, warned that engaging in pre-campaign activities is in violation of Chapter VI, Section 6 of the 2014 Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates.
A released issued by the NEC said that the commission will not hesitate to take punitive actions against violators which may include decertification or suspension in the case of political parties.
The NEC has also observed that self-styled groups under names such as “Movements for….., Friends of…..” and others in support of  political parties, individuals and/or independent aspirants intending to contest the 2017 Elections are also engaged in activities that contravene its guidelines.
The commission states that it has not declared the start of political campaigning for the 2017 general elections; therefore engaging in any of the following activities outside of the campaign period are strictly prohibited under Section 24.3 of the Guidelines.
These activities include political rallies; political broadcasts, statements and political messages in print and electronic media; and the use of posters, fliers, buntings, advertisement on billboards, public and private buildings, light poles and the internet.
They also include t-shirts, caps and other promotional items; and individual promotional stickers on vehicles, according to a NEC release issued Monday.

It said because NEC takes its mandate of conducting free, fair and transparent elections seriously, it strongly warns political parties, independent aspirants and groups engaged in such activities to desist with immediate effect.

The commission, however, states that as stipulated in Chapter VI of the Guidelines related to political parties and candidates some activities are permissible during non-campaign periods.
These activities are political party membership drive; establishment of party offices (both national and local); fund raising; use of logo/emblems on offices, vehicles and other party properties.

Also permitted are holding of political party national and local convention; political party meetings; and representational activities, including receiving and responding to petition from constituencies.

All political parties, individuals and self-styled groups are asked to adhere to these stipulations and govern themselves accordingly, the release concluded.
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