An ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) ended its joint post-election follow-up andneeds assessment mission in Liberia on Sunday June 13.The joint post -election follow-up Mission, which began its work on June 6, was led by Dr. Amada Aladoua, Vice-President of Niger’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI),and also include representatives of Electoral Commission of Ghana and ECOWAS Electoral AssistanceDivision (EAD).
The mission was supported by a technical team from the ECONEC Permanent Secretariat,Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and from the Deutsche Gesellschaft furInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The Mission was deployed with the financial support of GIZ, through its ECOWAS Peace and SecurityArchitecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project, which is co-funded by the European Union and theGerman Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).
The objective of the mission was to assess the level of implementation of the recommendations made to the actors of the electoralprocess by the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission during the 2017 legislative and presidentialelections in Liberia; and to also assess the needs of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and other key electoral stakeholdersin the run-up to the 2023 general elections in Liberia.
The mission met with the Board of Commissioners of NEC, the heads of technical departments in theCommission, political parties’ representatives, civil society organizations (CSOs) involved in themonitoring of the electoral process and technical and financial partners (EU Delegation, GermanEmbassy, UNDP and USAID) currently supporting stakeholders to deepen electoral process in thecountry.
Interactions and discussions focused on concerns about building a credible voter register through theadoption of Biometric Voter Registration system (BVR) to replace the current Optical Mark Recognitionsystem (OMR); constitutional reforms to prevent disputes; steps towards more inclusive electionsnotably affirmative measures (30% quota for party lists or reserved seats for disadvantage groups,access for persons with disabilities); capacity reinforcement for the NEC’s staff; early release of fundsby Government; needs for continuous civic and voter education; recruitment and training of pollingofficials; recruitment and training of party/candidate representatives; NEC institutionalcommunication and enhanced relationship with electoral stakeholders (media, political parties, CSOs).
A comprehensive report will be produced to serve as basis for advocacy efforts, design and planning ofelectoral assistance projects, sharing of electoral resources as well as transfer of knowledge amongmembers of ECONEC.
ECONEC is committed to providing the necessary support to NEC Liberia and work in synergy withother technical partners to help consolidate democracy in the country.