ALJA Urges NEC to Release Final Voters Roll

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The Association of Liberian Journalists in The Americas (ALJA) has called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to release the Final Registration Roll of the ensuing Legislative and Presidential Elections scheduled to be held on October 10, 2023 in consonance with the provisions of the 2022 Voter Registration Regulations. In a release issued over the weekend, ALJA expressed serious concerns over the delay in implementing several elements of the electoral process, including the release of the Final Registration Roll, which it believes, is creating concerns amongst various political parties, independent candidates, the international community and other stakeholders in the electoral process. The ALJA release referenced Sections 16.5 and 16.6 of the Voter Registration Regulations signed by members of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC on October 7, 2022 which states that the Final Registration Roll (FRR) shall be available at each election’s magisterial office across the country for public inspection and that the NEC may provide stakeholders with electronic copies of the FRR in a secured form.

The Association urged the National Elections Commission (NEC) to meticulously and fully implement every planned activity preceding the elections including adherence to the elections laws and applicable regulations governing each activity contained in the key dates of the elections in a timely manner in order to avert the casting of aspersion on the integrity and credibility of the elections. ALJA reminded- the NEC that it is under constitutional obligation to provide regular updates to the Liberian people and their international partners on the state of the electoral process and all issues that have the proclivity to cause delays to the process.

ALJA is at the same time calling on all political parties, independent candidates and their supporters to exercise high level of maturity and tolerance during this crucial period in the nation’s history and refrain from making provocative statements and threats of violence that are tantamount to derailing the hard-earned peace of Liberia. Meanwhile, ALJA said it is troubled by the persistent wave of importation of illegal drugs and other contrabands into the country through the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and other ports of entry in the country.  The Association said the smuggling and use of illegal drugs in the country have become prevalent over the last few years and have not only begun taking a toll on the health and well-being of the youthful population but also continues to threaten the security of the country.  It can be recalled that on September 11 and 20, 2023 respectively, consignments of the highly addictive and dangerous methamphetamine drug disguised as Organic Stevia Green Tea Leaves, were seized at the Roberts International Airport by personnel of the Liberia Revenue Authority,  while in October 2022, the Drug Enforcement Agency seized 520 kilograms (1,146 pounds) of cocaine estimated at $100 Million US Dollars concealed in a huge consignment of frozen poultry products that had been delivered to a cold storage facility near the Freeport of Monrovia. ALJA stressed that while unemployment, food security, and the rule of law pose an enduring threat to the Country, drugs continue to kill and harm thousands of youths in Liberia.

The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas is a 501 (C) 3 organization founded by former Liberian journalists based in the United States in 1998 and was revived in 2014 after a period of dormancy.  ALJA advocates for good governance, rule of law, democracy, freedom of speech and of the press and provides capacity building for practicing journalists and media institutions in Liberia.

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