780 Persons Join Elections 2005 Race

By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 9, 2005


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In less than a three day- time for the official conclusion of the nominations exercise for candidates to contest various political seats in the October 11 Presidential and Legislative Elections, a total of 780 persons have so far submitted their applications to the National Elections Commission (NEC) The Commission is due to publish the first list of qualified candidates on August 15 in line with the elections rule.

As of the formal conclusion of the nominations process, 206 candidates had been nominated by their various political parties to vie the seats in the Upper House, while additional 27 candidates have been nominated to contest the nation’s highest office-the presidency, with 26 others applying for the vice president.

According to latest statistics released by NEC, a total of 521 applications have been submitted by the various political parties and independent candidates for the House of representative.

Off the 727 candidates for the Liberian parliament, men make up 86 percents or 666, while women took 14 percents or 152.

The Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL) of Cllr. Varney Sherman, according to the statistical breakdown, registered the highest number of applicants, with the total of 94 candidates, followed by Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Walkers Brumskine, 93; Unity Party of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 89; the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of Dr. Massaquoi, 72 candidates; National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) of Cllr. Winston Tubman, 46 while the Independent candidates nominated 51 persons.

The New DEAL registered 26, National Reformation Party (NRP), 30; All Liberians Coalition Party (ALCOP) of Mr. Alhaji G. V. Kromah, 18 candidates; the Free Democratic Party ( FDP), 14; while the Union of Liberia Democrats, Progressive Democratic Party, Labor Party, Liberia Equal rights Party, National Party of Liberia and the reformed United Liberian Party got 12, 19, 12,6,3, and 14 respectively.

Accordingly, the National Vision Party registered 4, Liberia destiny Party of former finance Minister Nathaniel Bannes registered 13 persons for the legislative slots and the presidency.

Meanwhile, some of the candidates include those affected by the United Nations sanctions owing to their alleged connection with former President Charles.
"As of the morning of 2 August, only 11 candidates had submitted their nominations: one for President, four for Senate, and six for House of Representatives. The nomination process opened on 21 July and closes on 6 August.

Accordingly, all candidates for President/Vice President, Senate and House of Representatives were required to show up in person to turn over their documents to the Nomination Centre in the National Investment Centre on 12th Street, Sinkor, few miles outside the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

The delays in submitting nominations stem from continued "horse trading" through informal alliances and from the new regulations on campaign finance requiring candidates to list their assets.

The political campaign is scheduled to begin on 15 August and polling day is 11 October. The voter will cast three ballots of different colors, one for President and Vice President, one for members of the Senate and one for members of the House of Representatives, while counting will begin at the polling places after the voting ends on 11 October and by law the National Elections Commission (NEC) would release the results within the period of 15 days time.

If “survival of the fittest” - is anything to go by, then the dreams of dozens of “God-sent” presidential aspirants who are flooding the political scene will be short-circuited, as many of them risk being disqualified by measures introduced by the National Election Commission (NEC).

The measures, which eventually disqualified dozens of aspirants and candidates for the presidency and legislature posts, state that all candidates must declare their assets including real states, properties, bank accounts and must have registered as a voters, paid his/ or her taxes for the fiscal years of 2004-2005.

The measures also stipulate that candidates should not have criminal records and must present registration card during registration, and show real estate valuation certificates showing ownership of unencumbered real property valued.

According to an international staff attached to the NEC, several of the aspirants both presidential and legislative will not meet up with the requirements.