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GC releases finalized report on elections

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The Governance Commission has released the finalized copy of its Annual Governance Report or AGR on elections, urging political parties, candidates and stakeholders to strengthen commitment to peaceful, violence-free elections through solemn declaration and commitment to an ethical code of conduct.

A release issued in Monrovia says the GC’s Annual Governance Report also supports calls for the monitoring of political parties’ and independent candidates’ funding in keeping with section 7 of the new elections law of Liberia.

Section 7 of the new Election Law of Liberia highlights elections campaign expenses remittances of funds from outside Liberia to political parties or independent candidates, limitation of election expenses, accounts of political parties and requirements for examination, campaign contribution, expenses and reports, among others.

Some political parties have flaunted newly purchased cars, motorbikes and other election related materials which many have described as possible violations of the New Elections Law of Liberia, the GC says.

The Commission has therefore urged the National Elections Commission or NEC to work with national integrity institutions such as Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC, Financial Intelligence Unit or FIU, and others to monitor campaign financing and financial flows into political parties as prescribed in
NEC’s mandate.

The annual governance report also highlights the use of elections as a platform for debate of national development issues, and that political parties and candidates should use such platforms to responsibly debate policy issues and priorities.

Other recommendations put forward in the AGR include recruitment, training and equipping of adequate number of election magistrates and hearing officers; and strengthening of capacity and monitoring of campaign spending and financial flows into political parties.

The actions of election magistrates and hearing officers have been at the center of most elections disputes that have reached the Supreme Court, the release says, adding that the NEC should set a requirement of the minimum number of party agents to be recruited by each party, provide sound training to them, and require and monitor their full deployment.

The election of a new government in 2017 will mark the first time since 1944 executive authority will be transferred from one elected president to another. These elections are expected to lay the political foundations upon which Liberians will continue to maintain peace, advance development and pursue reconciliation.

The AGR intends to contribute to strengthening the electoral system and assure the holding of peaceful and credible elections in Liberia. It examines the institutions, actors, rules and procedures that constitute the electoral system of Liberia.

It also seeks to identify issues for post-elections electoral reform and to elevate consciousness about how elections are important to peace and development in Liberia. — Press release

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