‘However the Commission wants to state that no amount of assignation threat will coerce them [the Commissioners] Commission to embark on any activity that will undermine the electoral process’, reaffirmed Massaquoi.
Presenting further updates on the Commission’s calendar of activities, the NEC Director of Public Affair appraised the Electoral stakeholders, including the media that the Commission is engaged in the printing of voter identity cards.
He said the Commission is pleased with the support received so far from the United Nations Development Programme in providing the needed funding for this process which is at an advanced stage.
Samples of the locally produced and laminated voter identification cards which shall be used for voting upon final printing, were circulated around to all representatives of Electoral stakeholder institutions present for viewing and comments.
In a related update, the NEC Director of Media and Public Affairs intimated the electoral body that the Commission on Monday 21st September held what he describes as fruitful discussions with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with the Western Area Rural District Council (WARC) on ensuring modalities for the conduct of Village Headmen elections.
The Village Headmen elections are scheduled to be held in December 2017 as part of the Commission’s electoral calendar.
Furthermore, the update states that NEC has held similar fruitful meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on the conduct of Chieftaincy and Parliamentary elections for the de-amalgamated Karena and Falaba Districts and chiefdoms therein.
As an outcome of that engagement, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is developing Councillors’ list which shall be used for the conduct of the above mentioned elections.
On the additional resources required by NEC for the conduct of electoral activities as per their calendar, the NEC spokesperson disclosed that adequate funding for electoral activities has been indisputably thorny.
‘NEC at this moment has a funding gap of ten million dollars for the successful conduct of all its calendar activities including the 7th March General Elections’, said Albert Massaquoi.
He disclosed that as a result, the Commission still owes its service providers a total of 2.5 million dollars.
He however reiterated that NEC will continue to amicably engage the Ministry of Finance and UNDP for the availability of the requisite funding for the successful conduct of all planned and outlined electoral activities in the NEC calendar.
Spokesman from the Police who spoke to AYV affirmed that the police have already been on red alert since the threat audio was released on social media.