The final consultative workshop on the proposed elections law reforms with members of Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations, Women and Youth Groups has concluded in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
According to a press release, the three-day event held from 22 to 24 October 2019, was officiated by the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah.Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah assured participants of NEC’s commitment to working with all electoral stakeholders to consolidate and mature Liberia’s nascent democracy.
“The Commission is mandated under Section 2.9 of the new Elections Law of 1986 to propose to the National Legislature for enactment, amendment to, and repeal any provisions of the Elections law”, he says.The NEC Boss informs participants that the NEC executes this mandate through a three-segment electoral cycle, namely: pre-election period, election period and post-election period.
He adds that after the NEC has concluded the consultative process, a validation will be conducted and subsequently, a thoroughly scrutinized comprehensive reform package will be submitted to the Liberian Legislature.
The consultation was also attended by various Development Partners including representatives from UNDP, Irish Aid, UN Women and USAID.
In her address, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Program, Violet Baffour informed participants that “UNDP and its partners- the European Union, the Governments of Canada, Ireland and Sweden have been supporting the government of Liberia and the NEC on its journey towards credible, inclusive and transparent elections”.
According to Ms. Baffour, the development partners have supported the NEC in compiling all recommendations from the various electoral stakeholders during the elections law reform process.
“We welcome the efforts of the NEC and the government of Liberia to follow up on these recommendations and seek ways of addressing shortcomings identified through inclusive and substantive consultations”, she added.
Ms. Baffour further noted that the legal reform consultations are vital in strengthening public confidence and engagement in Liberia’s electoral process.
Also making remarks, USAID Deputy Director, Ms. Rebekah Eubanks commended Liberia’s commitment to conducting free, fair and competitive elections as path to genuine peace and reconciliation.
“For peace to be sustained, the people must have unwavering faith in the electoral system- that it will truly allow their voices to be heard no matter their gender, ethnicity, economic status or political affiliation,” Ms. Eubanks continued.
She urged the NEC to expeditiously complete the consultative process in order to give the Legislature adequate time to make amendments in the law, before the next electoral cycle.
Other speakers included representatives of Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations and local leaders who thanked the NEC for consulting them in this process.
The Grand Bassa County workshop is one of initiatives conducted by the NEC with support from UNDP Elections Basket Fund, to improve the electoral laws and processes as the country prepares for the 2020 Special Senatorial and 2023 General elections.–Press release