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EU announces 15m for election

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-Lauds GOL for conducting peaceful elections in December 2020

The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Liberia Ambassador Laurent Delahousse has revealed that the EU is planning to help digitize Liberia’s elections system by providing the amount of Euro 15 million for the process.

Liberia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Ambassador Delahousse stated during a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah on Monday, 3 May that given the population of Liberia which is about five million, “it is easy to digitize the electoral system in Liberia.”

Ambassador Delahousse further mentioned that a conversation is currently ongoing between the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel D. Tweah and the EU on fast-tracking activities leading to the 2023 elections which are fast approaching.

Amb. Delahousse’s disclosure of the EU’s plan came when he accompanied the Chief Observer of the 2017 EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) Ms. Maria Arena and other EU officials at Minister Kemayah’s Capitol Hill office.

During the courtesy call, Madam Arena lauded the Government of Liberia for the peaceable manner in which the December 2020 special Senatorial election was conducted here, adding that the 2020 election was well managed.

Madam Arena who is also a member of the European Parliament, said they are in the country to follow up on recommendations from the EU Election Observer Mission which was deployed to observe the Presidential and Legislative elections in October and December 2017.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia says while paying a courtesy call on Liberian Foreign Minister Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., at his Capitol Hill office, Madam Arena noted that the EU Mission will proffer suggestions for reform for the upcoming 2023 presidential and general elections in Liberia.

Ms. Arena intoned that the 2023 elections which seems to be far away for now must take into consideration the issue of women participation and empowerment as the country prepares for future elections ahead.
She called on the Legislature to speed up the constitutional change as it relates to election, saying they need to know the reform proceeding to 2023 elections.

“The role of women in this process is very important in your country; to have women well represented in the electoral process…[being] about 50 percent of the population, we need to work on the quota for women representation in National the Legislature, we need to prepare for 2023 elections,” she stated.
Responding, Minister Kemayah welcomed EOM to Liberia and appreciated Madam Arena for the kind words on the December 2020 election.

Minister Kemayah noted that while the government takes it as a compliment, it is not complicit, adding that it strengthens the government’s resolve as a country to ensure that whatever improvement that is needed within the electoral system will be done. The Dean of the Cabinet said democracy is an uncompromising endeavor for all, not only as a country but for President George Manneh Weah.

Minister Kemayah disclosed that d against this background, President Weah called opponents to the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) who won the seats to congratulate them.

While responding to the Head of EU Delegation to Liberia Ambassador Laurent Delahousse’s question whether there are plans by the GOL to reform its election law that will allow diaspora Liberians to participate in future elections in Liberia, Minister Kemayah said it is only through an electoral reform that the change will take place.

Madam Arena was accompanied by the Head of EU Delegation, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, and two electoral experts of the European External Action Services (EEAS), who will be present in Liberia between April 22 and May 16, while Madam Arena will be in Liberia from May 2 to May 7, 2021.

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