The National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday launched the countdown to the holding of the 2017 legislative and presidential elections.The Commission also launched its new logo, website, Facebook and Twitter pages to effectively create awareness around the conduct of the 2017 elections.The Commission disclosed that it would conduct Liberia’s 3rd post war elections on October 10, 2017.NEC Acting Chairperson, Sarah Toe, said: “As of today, Sunday, May 29, the presidential and legislative election of October 10, 2017 is exactly 499 days away.”She indicated that the elections will be conducted in concert with Article 83 (a) of the Liberian Constitution, which states that voting for the President, members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the Second Tuesday in October of each election year.“Therefore, the Commission, in compliance with this Constitutional provision will conduct said elections on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. This date has been highlighted in the Timeline of the 2017 Elections,” she added.Madam Toe noted that as the NEC launched the countdown to the 2017 elections, the Commission wants to call on all members of the media to join it in building and creating awareness about the elections, which are very important to the current democratic history of Liberia.She disclosed that the new logo is a transparent ballot box with a red lid complemented with the letters ‘NEC’ written in bold blue capital letters. “The ballot box was the logo selected by a large percentage of stakeholders asked to select from a sample of logos during a consultation exercise organized by the NEC,” she told a news conference on Sunday.The new logo, Madam Toe disclosed, is part of a process in which the NEC is seeking to develop a more consistent corporate image to highlight its role as an independent Electoral Management Body (EMB).“The transparent ballot box represents transparency and an electoral process in which all voters can freely elect their leaders in a free, fair, credible and transparent manner. These terms are consistently being stressed by stakeholders as those associated with credible elections and electoral management bodies. The colors reflect the national colors and the blue, red and white mean Liberian nationhood and civic virtue,” she indicated.Madam Toe disclosed that NEC has reconstructed its website due to the advancement in technology and noted that the Commission’s new social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) will present a whole new paradigm for effectively disseminating civic/voter education messages to the public as the country moves closer to the 2017 elections.She said in an era of greater transparency and authenticity, social media is rapidly delivering a new standard of interaction among people thus motivating the launch of the Commission’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.Madam Toe said she appreciates the media continuous partnership with the Commission and called on members of the press to effectively disseminate information about all aspects of the electoral process to the public, as the Commission strives to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2017.She commended all of NEC’s partners, particularly United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), for the continuous support which resulted to the hiring of several consultants whose efforts had earned the Commission the success of the launch of the countdown, as well as the Facebook and Twitter pages.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A recent survey conducted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has found that a massive 60 per cent of residents in Georgetown illegally reconnect their water supply after being disconnected.The GWI on Thursday highlighted the major issue while noting that plans are afoot to intensify its disconnection and service removal campaign in a bid to focus on customers who are determined to illegally reconnect their service.The water company said “a sample population of 700 Georgetown customers have illegally reconnected their water service after being disconnected for overdue balances… the utility has intensified its disconnection and service removal campaign across the capital city, with a particular focus on those customers who have illegally reconnected their service.”According to the GWI, most of the customers who would have indulged in the illegal act are domestic customers.Revenue Manager for the municipality, Nicholas Dawalat, explained that the company is currently conducting disconnections in the Queenstown area which will be trailed by other areas in Georgetown such as Stabroek, Alberttown, and Charlestown.According to him, illegal reconnections result in a reduced level of service to customers, loss in revenue and contamination in the lines, which compromises the quality of water provided to customers.He further added that the company’s loss in revenue also affects its ability to purchase chemicals to treat water to ensure that the quality meets World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, as well as its ability to pay its workers.The manager nonetheless noted that disconnections and service removals are the company’s last resort after attempts to contact their customers prove futile.According to GWI, its customers are given 28 days after their bill is due to clear their balance or the option to take advantage of the utility’s wallet-friendly payment plans.If they fail to do so, their service is disconnected, and they are given an additional 28 days to pay their reconnection fee, before their service is removed. The cost for reconnection for domestic customers is $7500 and $16,000 for commercial customers, whereas the replacement fee for both categories is $20,000.It was pointed out that GWI targets all categories of indebted customers, irrespective of whether they are domestic or commercial.