The Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) has written a formal communication to Liberia’s Development Partners, drawing their attention to what it calls the unwarranted delay in the conduct of the civic and voter’s education, ahead of the much publicized 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections.
According to a press statement released in Monrovia, Friday, FIND is one of Liberia’s leading human rights and pro-democracy organizations established in 2003 with Headquarters in Central Liberia, specifically in Gbarnga, Bong County. Among other things, FIND’s works focus on human rights promotion, good governance and peace building as well as the promotion of the rule of law through advocacy and awareness promotion.
It could be recalled that in October of this year-2016, FIND issued a press statement in which it called on all stakeholders including Liberia’s development partners to provide technical and financial support to the national civil society institutions to begin early civic and voter education.
FIND’s call was based on previous elections observation report, particularly, the Carter Center 2011 Election Monitoring Report, which among other things, highlighted late and inadequate voter education as one of the key contributing factors to the huge number of invalid votes, election violence, low voter registration and turnout, discrepancy in elections’ results, double and underage voters’ registration, misuse of state resources and the use of excessive force by state security during the elections.
FIND, while acknowledging the pivotal role the international community has played in helping Liberians to maintain the peace, the acclaimed human rights and pro-democracy organization, on the other hand, encouraged the international community including the country’s development to continue providing resources and technical support to bolster citizens’ awareness and participation in the pending 2017 Elections, describing the elections as the real turning point and test for Liberia’s post war democratic dispensation.
Observed FIND: “Moreover, the voter registration process is considered one of the critical aspects of the elections. Though the National Elections Commission (NEC) had announced that it would commence the civic and voter education on the voter registration process early this month, the Commission is yet to kick off this crucial component of the electoral process.”
Against this backdrop, FIND underscored the urgent need for an early intensive civic and voter education on the voter registration, stressing that this cannot be overemphasized.
“To this end, we call on the international community, regional bodies and International NGOs to provide technical and financial support to local and national civil society organizations for the successful holding of the 2017 Elections. If adequate assistance is given to the local and international organizations, we believe, the 2017 Elections would achieve its desired results, More precisely, the electorates, on the contrary, would be fully informed about their rights and responsibilities, which overall results would translate into a successful, peaceful, orderly and transparent Elections come 2017, paving way for a new democratic dispensation in our country,” FIND among other things accentuated.
FIND added that by expressing the hope that its communication would be given consideration for the advancement of peace and stability in the country.-Press release