MONROVIA – The main opposition Unity Party (UP), for legal reasons, on today, filed a Writ of Mandamus against the National Elections Commission (NEC), praying the Supreme Court to compel the NEC to perform its statutory duty of publishing and distributing the Final Registration Roll (FRR) of all certified voters by location for Liberia’s impending general elections, to political parties, independent candidates, and other stakeholders.
Less than two weeks to the conduct of presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, the national electoral body is yet to make public the Final Registration Roll, which several opposition politicians including Montserrado County vocal senator, Abe Darius Dillon, claim should have long ago been made public 30 days prior to Election Day.
In a court document in the possession of Smart News Liberia, the Unity Party, which is represented in this latest lawsuit by its standard bearer Joseph N. Boakai and all officials of the party, quotes the Supreme Court of Liberia as defining a Writ of Mandamus as a judicial proceeding to coerce the performance of duties devolved by law upon public officials.
The Unity Party told the Court that consistent with the duties devolved on the NEC by the New Election Law of Liberia, as well as an opinion of the Supreme Court of Liberia, the electoral body is mandated to publish and submit to political parties and independent candidates, copies of the FRR of registered voters disaggregated by location in every electoral district in the country, which the electoral body is yet to do with just 13 days left for the conduct of the 10 October elections.
Meanwhile, the NEC through its chairperson Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, has assured Liberians that the FRR for the 10 October presidential and legislative elections would shortly be published and released to registered political parties, independent candidates, and other stakeholders.
Addressing a press briefing recently, Browne-Lansanah stated that as has been with past elections when the NEC made available electronic copies of FRR to political parties, independent candidates, and other stakeholders, the Final Registration Roll for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections will be made available to all concerned.
“The technical team of NEC is working to have the Biometric Voter Roll placed in a secured format, and same will be made available to all stakeholders as soon as possible,” stated Browne-Lansanah, who further disclosed that the Commission has a team of personnel working 24 hours on three ships to ensure the FRR is printed and pasted at each of the 2,080 voting precincts prior to Election Day.
“We have told the Liberian people that we are printing, we are also packaging – there is a process that has been going on recently, and these staff have three ships they are working on to accelerate the process so that we have these documents ready in time for the elections,” she maintained, stating that the NEC has had delays, but those delays are being taken care of.