[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

GeneralLiberia news

 EISA-IEOM urges security coordination

-Ahead of by-elections

Joint Security urged to improve coordination ahead of pending by-elections in Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, Liberia, April 19, 2024—The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa International Observation Mission (EISA-IEOM) is urging Liberia’s Joint Security to improve communication, coordination, and information sharing regarding security arrangements to safeguard the integrity of upcoming by-elections.

Liberia is on the verge of conducting pivotal by-elections, scheduled for April 23, 2024, for a Senatorial seat in Nimba County and a Representative seat for District#1 in Grand Gedeh County, respectively.

In Nimba, the April 2024 by-election is necessitated by the election of former Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Koung as Vice President of Liberia in 2023.

In Grand Gedeh, the District#1 by-election is meant to replace the late Representative Erol Madison Gwion, who died in November 2023.

EISA has continental and subregional programs in elections and democracy throughout Africa. It strives for excellence in promoting credible elections, domestic participation, and the strengthening of political institutions for sustainable democracy in Africa.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1]

The USAID-funded EISA International Election Observation Mission (EISA-IEOM) Activity seeks to enhance the integrity of the 2023 Liberia Presidential and Legislative elections through the deployment of an independent international election observer mission (EOM) to monitor, assess, and report on all phases of the electoral process by international and regional benchmarks.

The IEOM is implemented in close coordination with the financial support of USAID/Liberia and will complement the efforts of other electoral stakeholders. EISA is a continental not-for-profit organization located in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, with field offices in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Liberia, Chad, and Sudan.

EISA-IEOM, in its election perspective series named “Navigating Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities in Liberia’s 2024 Legislative By-elections in Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties under the signature of acting Country Representative and Chief of Party Antonetta Hamandishe, said it’s important that the security affairs are properly coordinated to improve public trust.

Accordingly, the election perspective adds that Liberia’s democratic strength lies in the resilience of its citizens and institutions against violence and divisive rhetoric. It urges that as the upcoming by-elections serve as another test for Liberian democracy and tolerance, addressing significant threats and vulnerabilities is crucial to consolidating electoral gains.

“Efforts by security forces and other groups should be directed towards monitoring and mitigating acts of violence and political provocation and collecting data for future analysis. The Liberian security forces are requested to improve communication, coordination, and the sharing of information regarding security arrangements to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and instill confidence among voters, building upon the commendable efforts of the Joint Security Councils (JSCs) during the 2023 general elections’’ they urged.

They further stated that the steps by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and security forces should be taken to ensure that officials and officers are paid their due wages timely and accurately to apply lessons from the 2023 electoral experience.

Noting that the campaign period opened on April 4 and ends on April 20, 2024,  they urged, “EISA encourages political parties and candidates to commit to the principles of safety, security, tolerance, and diversity in adherence to and even beyond the Farmington River Declaration made in 2023. Leaders are requested to assert a leading role as advocates for peace and stability on all societal levels. Peaceful campaigning and tolerance of political diversity are essential indicators of democratic strength.”

EISA-IEOM further lamented that the prevalence of invalid votes in previous elections underscores the necessity for improved civic education and voter awareness. The NEC, political parties, community leaders, and civil society organizations are responsible for ensuring comprehensive civic and voter education, thereby reducing the potential for invalid votes.

They underscored that election officials must receive adequate training to process ballots and identify invalid votes to uphold the integrity of the electoral process. Liberians participating in the upcoming by-elections must prioritize correct voting practices, and registered voters are encouraged to turn out and exercise their franchise.

Political party youth leaders and social media platforms are urged to commit to promoting responsible online discourse to counter mis/disinformation and hate speech.

“The involvement of Liberian civic institutions and domestic and international observer groups is paramount in augmenting the efforts of the electoral commission and security forces toward peaceful elections and active civic participation,” the release concluded.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=3] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=4] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=5] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=6]
Back to top button