The National Elections Commission or NEC, with support from the International Foundation for Electoral System or IFES, has launched its civic and voters’ education campaign.
The campaign is geared towards the successful holding of the 2017 Presidential and General elections in Liberia. The commission, at its national headquarters in Monrovia on Tuesday, officially launched the voters’ education program, so that eligible voters will understand how to vote, as well as the essence of casting a ballot for a candidate.
The ceremony brought together elections’ actors, members of the civil society and leaders of political parties in the country. Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of NEC, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, expressed gratitude to invited guests who attended the unique event, but admonished political actors and civil society leaders to ensure that Liberians of voting age have the opportunity to learn the process leading to the elections for informed decision-making in the interest of the country’s emerging democracy, after years of violent conflicts.
Chairman Korkoya added that it would be a good thing for all Liberians to make informed decision that would move Liberia to a greater height as it relates to modern governance. In October 2017, Liberians are expected to go to the poll to elect new president and vice president, as well as 73 members of the House of Representatives for a six-year term.
For his part, Commissioner Sam Joe called for collective efforts toward the 2017 electoral process, noting that the pending electoral process is a determining factor that should be taken seriously by all Liberians.
He said the commission depended on everyone for a successful journey which commenced Tuesday. August 31, 2015. However, the Program Director of IFES, Sensensee Freeman, expressed disappointment about the poor participation of political parties.
Mr. Freeman said that civic voters’ education should greatly remind political parties that they need votes to make the governance process more effective and responsible. According to him, the low turn-out of political parties was a bad signal that must be handled quickly by those responsible, stressing that voter’s education cannot be left alone with the electoral house or civil society organizations, but political parties opting for state power.
He urged political parties now to work with the election commission and other relevant partners in ensuring that proper recommendations are made in time, while changes, when necessary, can be made.
Meanwhile, NEC has issued the writ of election to the Magistrate of Lower Bong County for the re-run of the December 20, 2015 Special Senatorial Election in parts of Electoral District number Seven, Bong County. The election is expected to be held on September 29, 2015.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Edited by George Barpeen