One of the seven Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has underscored the importance of party agents in the electoral process adding, the role of political party agents is critical to the legitimacy of election results throughout Liberia.
Commissioner Boakai Dukuly said the role of Party Agents in ensuring free, fair, credible, and transparent elections is critical in ensuring a violent free Special Senatorial Election (SSE) on 8 December 2020.
He spoke on Friday, 13 November 2020, on behalf of the Chairperson of NEC, Davidetta Brwone Lansana at the commencement of the first in a series of political parties and independent candidates’ Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop in Monrovia.
Commissioner Dukuly, who has oversight for Political Parties said to ensure this is achieved, party agents must be adequately trained, and serve as election ambassadors to ensure peace and reconciliation throughout the country even after the poll.
The NEC Commissioner challenged party agents to be truthful and to report exactly what they see but also to be careful how to handle complaints arising out of the elections.
The TOT workshop is being conducted by the NEC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Liberia Electoral Support Project, the Government of Germany, and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
More than 400 representatives from political parties, Alliances, Coalitions, and Independent Candidates participated with a focus on a comprehensive look at the 2020 Polling and Counting Manual, including reconciliation and Sorting of SSE ballots, general principles for determining valid and invalid ballots, political party, Independent Candidate Campaign Committee Agents, including referendum ballot and elections monitoring deployment, among others.
The second phase of the Political Party TOT workshop will take place in Ganta, Nimba County. It will be followed by two others in Tubmanburg, Bomi County and Buchanan, in Grand Bassa County, respectively.
In a related development, the Independent Disputes Hearing Office of the National Elections Commission will today, Monday, 16 November 2020 conduct a two-day workshop on adjudicating electoral complaints for all 19 Elections Magistrates of the Commission. A statement from NEC issued on Friday, 13 November 2020 says the Elections Magistrates Adjudication workshop is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and Electoral Support Project in Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne