NEC Strategizes For 2017
Ahead of the 2017 presidential and House of Representatives election five years away, the National Election Commission has begun strategizing on the way to handling electoral process that will be void of dispute and suspicions of fraud.
The Commission is conducting a three-day intensive workshop in Kakata, Margibi County towards the drafting of a six-year strategic plan under the theme: ‘Nurturing Liberia’s nascent democracy through free, fair and credible elections.’
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop held in a local guest house in Kakata on Monday, the Chairperson of the Strategic Plan Committee of NEC, Cllr. Sarah Toe said the Commission has embarked on such early planning to ensure that both the pending 2014 mid-term election and the 2017 Presidential and House of Representatives elections are successful.
“I think, this is a good beginning for the improvement of our electoral processes because early planning is crucial to achieving the primary goal of this institution and that is holding a peaceful, free, fair and credible election. As we all know that the democracy of our country is young and it will only get stronger through the holding of series of credible elections”, she said.
She pointed out that the workshop will help staff of the Commission to be up to the task to make sure the young democracy that many Liberians are cherishing grows stronger.
Also speaking at the ceremony, which brought together representatives from local and foreign partners, including the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Subah-Belleh Associates, the Executive Director of NEC, John Langlay noted that the 2005 elections were challenging because the Commission was in its embryonic stage.
He added that the most challenging experience was the 2011 elections, adding, “It was most challenging experience in the history of this commission. The conduct of the national referendum and the presidential and legislative elections within the same year is a tough battle. But with the support of international partners and dedicated staff with us, we successfully sailed through.”
For his part, the NEC Commissioner responsible for Political Affairs David Menyongar urged the participants to dedicate their time and intellectual minds to the exercise to achieve nothing but the best.