Liberia’s election commission played down a ballot paper error as votes were being counted Wednesday, a day after a constitutional referendum which was criticised by opposition parties.
The referendum, seen as a test for the commission (NEC) just weeks before the nation’s second post-war presidential elections, underlined teething problems after a misprint on ballot papers that confused some voters. While voting went off peacefully, the referendum was also marred by concerns over poor voter turnout and a a boycott by some opposition leaders.
“The NEC assures the voting populace that the error will in no way affect the determination of the decision of the voters to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Neither will it impact the results of the referendum,” chairman James Fromayan said at a press conference late Tuesday night.
Voters were asked to vote for or against four law changes. However when asked about raising the retirement age of the chief justice from 70 to 75, a misprint created confusion among the electorate even though it preserved the alternative of approving or rejecting the amendment.
Fromayan said while turnout had been slow in the morning, it was encouraging later in the day, amid fears many of the 1.8 million registered voters had decided to stay away.
Full Article: AFP: Liberian officials play down ballot paper error.