Daily Media Summary 2017-10-05

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Highlighted in today’s summary of the local dailies include the National Elections Commissions’ advice to the ruling Unity Party to find another option for climaxing its campaign activities rather than Saturday, 7 October which has been earmarked by the ANC as well as the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointment of Dr. Natalia Kanem as Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.



NEC Rejects UP’s Request

The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it has rejected ruling Unity Party (UP’s) request to climax its campaign activities on Saturday, 7 October, the same day the Commission says opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) intends to climax its campaign. “There has been a clash of timetables regarding campaign rallies planned for Monrovia this weekend. Both Alternative National Congress and the Unity [Party] submitted plans for campaign rallies on 07 October,” NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya said at the Commission headquarters Wednesday, 4 October. Having announced the receipt of two separate communications from the UP and ANC which request to close their campaigns on 7 October, Cllr. Korkoya says the Commission has turned down the request of UP and rather accepted the request of opposition  ANC to close on Saturday, 7 October. According to the New Dawn newspaper, Cllr. Korkoya’s justification for turning down UP’s request is that the NEC had earlier received ANC’s request ahead of the UP’s request. On the basis of best practice, the Commission says it resolved to give October 7 to the ANC and urged the UP to find another option, which is Sunday only.


Related Captions: NEC Nullifies UP’s October Planned Campaign Rally…Warns Against Clashes (INSIGHT), UP Final Rally Hitches (FrontPage Africa)  


UNFPA Gets New Executive Director

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, has appointed Dr. Natalia Kanem as Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the rank of United Nations Under-Secretary-General. Dr. Kanem, a Panamanian, is the Fund’s fifth Executive Director. She replaces Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin who died on 05 June in New York. Quoting a press release from the UNFPA, the New Dawn newspaper reads that Dr. Natalia Kanem had been serving as Acting Executive Director since June, and as Deputy Executive Director, Programme, since July 2016. She was also the UNFPA Representative in Tanzania from 2014 to 2016 and has held senior positions in the Ford Foundation and other non-governmental organizations and institutions;” she added. 

Related Caption: UNFPA Gets New Executive Director (Heritage), Dr. Natalia Kanem Appointed UNFPA Executive Director (FrontPage Africa)  




NDI Deploys International Delegation To Observe Elections Here

According to the Heritage newspaper, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is fielding an international delegation from today, Thursday, October 5 to Thursday, October 12 to observe the October 10 presidential and legislative elections. The daily says the delegation includes 34 political leaders, civic leaders and election experts from Africa, Europe, and North America. The NDI’s international delegation will be led by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI); Senator Ken Nnamani, former President of the Nigerian Senate; and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director, NDI. NDI’s delegation will observe polling places on Election Day, and hold high-level meetings with the National Elections Commission, government officials, political party leaders and civil society representatives. In addition, NDI has deployed six long-term observers and four long-term analysts in Liberia since July.


Senate Amends Rape Law

The Heritage newspaper says the Liberian Senate has amended the Rape Law of Liberia. The amended version of the rape Law was brought to the attention of the Liberian Senate by Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay and has been in the judiciary committee’s room undergoing scrutiny. According to the daily, the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, October 3, during its 60th day sitting of the 6th session voted to amend the Rape law. The Senate too the vote following a report from its’ statutory Committee on Judiciary recommending that  rape should be a bailable offense as is provided for in the draft Act submitted by Sen. Teahjay. The Committee also recommends that an accused person on bail for the commission of the crime of rape should report to the Court which granted the bail on a monthly basis and that reporting should occur on the monthly anniversary of the grant of the bail.

Related Caption: Liberian Senate Votes To Make Rape A Bailable Offense (FrontPage Africa)  


“All Elections Materials Set And Ready”…NEC Discloses

The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, has disclosed that all the materials for the Tuesday, October 10, 2017 elections are set, ready and currently in the country and ready for transfer to various voting centers across the country. Addressing a news conference at the commission on Wednesday in Monrovia, Cllr. Korkoya revealed that the final batch of the ballot papers was due to arrive in the country on Wednesday, October 4. According to the Heritage newspaper, the NEC boss stated that there are very tight deadlines to be met, but said the electoral preparations remain on track.


LNP Draws Line…Against Election Violence

The Liberia National Police (LNP) says it has put into place all necessary mechanisms to safeguard the conduct of the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections. The INSIGHT newspaper quotes Police Spokesman, Sam Collins as disclosing that the LNP has dispatched more officers to areas considered “hard to reach zone” of the country, especially the southeastern region, to provide adequate security to those who will be turning out  on elections day. Mr. Collins named the hard to reach counties as Grand gedeh, Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee, Maryland and Rivercess Counties.