>Liberia: Senate Wants Voter Registration Extension


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E.J. Nathaniel Daygbor Source: The New Dawn Liberia
With fews days to the closure of the voter registration, the Liberian Senate has officially written the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the extension of the exercise by at least two weeks.

According to the communication, with the extension of the voter’s registration date, Liberians who did not have the time to register may utilize the opportunity to register.

The communication urged the National Elections Commission to act immediately so as to create the avenue for a massive participation in the forthcoming elections.

Members of the senate said the additional two weeks will not only afford those who are yet to register the opportunity, but it’s a show of democracy returning to the country after 14 years of brutal civil war. The communication also recommended that NEC include in its strategy a mobile voter’s registration center.

Meanwhile, the Senate appointed Bong County Senior Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor to head the discussion with NEC to ensure that the appropriate measures are put into place for the additional two weeks. At the House of Representatives Tuesday, House members also tabled for discussion the extension of the voter’s registration exercise but with divergent views.

The move comes at a time the Committee on Elections and Inaugurations headed by Grand Bassa County Representative Gabriel Buchanan Smith is in serious discussions with authorities at NEC for such extension, but Grand Cape Mount Rep. Mohammad Ware strongly differed with plenary claiming that it does not make any sense for any extension of the exercise.

He argues that already they (Lawmakers) took ten days break and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared this gone Monday a national holiday for the voter’s registration exercise, adding, still people did not show up for their constitutional rights, “even if we extend this voter’s registration for the next three months, people who have resolved not to register will not still register,” he said.

He pointed out that it would make much sense if people were turning out in their numbers and that the date for the closure was drawing closer- but as it is all registration centers throughout the country has continued to remain empty.

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