MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ With less than two months to the October 10 polls, the National Elections Commission has named CETIS as the company certified to print all ballot papers.
NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya said at a news conference on Wednesday that CETIS is a renowned Slovenian company that has previously printed ballot papers for the Lofa bi-elections.
The commission recently promised to make the winner of the bid to print the ballot papers known upon approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission.
â€œThe commission is grateful to the PPCC for this timely endorsement of our competitive bidding process,â€ he said.
NEC announcedÂ earlier this month that it has concluded the process of selecting a company in Europe to print the ballots for the 2017 Elections.
It said CETIS met all procurement procedures and was determined to be the most responsive bidder. The commission had also earlier promised to make full disclosure of the company following the approval of the PPCC of its decision.
Korkoya meanwhile told the news conference Wednesday that the commission was pleased to announce that PPCC has accepted the â€œNo Objectionâ€ to the bid winner, making it the certified vendor for the ballot papers.
Ahead of the NECâ€™s decision, the Youth League chairman for Congress for Democratic Change, Jefferson Koijee, alleged that CETIS was linked to a man believed to be the nephew of Vice President Joseph Boakai, the Unity Party standard bearer.
The commission refuted the claim and reminded political parties to be responsible in making claims in the public.
â€œThe NEC respects the rights of all candidates and political partiesâ€™ freedom of speech and assembly,â€ Korkoya said.
â€œThe commission however reminds political parties they have a responsibility to ensure what they say is accurate and not misleading, inflammatory or encouraging distrust in the election commissionâ€™s work without grounds.â€
According to him, the Ganta Agreement and Farmington River Declaration signed by political parties commit all parties to act responsibly. He encouraged parties to remain true to the principles outlined in the two documents.
He stressed that the procurement of ballot papers was undertaken with a high level of checks and balances.
According to him, CETIS has an international reputation for producing ballot papers and it was selected based on a competitive process following government guidelines and PPCC and international standards.
â€œThe commission would like to set the record straight on claims that NEC had dealings with an individual named Ernest Boakai in the bidding process are untrue,â€ he clarified.
The only dealings the commission has had with this person is during the opening of tender documents for supplies in the 2015 Lofa county bi-election.â€
He said the Melvin Bruce was the CETISâ€™ representative that attended the tender bid opening for the 2017 election materials.
The commission has meanwhile reassured the public and voters that ballot papers will be of the highest quality, and there will be no opportunity for interference by anyone.
â€œNEC also assures the public that it takes these elections seriously against media reports on the contrary,â€ the press statement revealed.
â€œNEC remains an independent body and will not take kindly any interferences from other legal bodies. NEC emphasize that all its procurement processes were fully in line with the laws and open and transparent.â€
The commission emphasized that issues with ballot papers were sensitive and that procurement processes were conducted in line with integrity and international standards.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah