The first in a series of legal awareness Forum organized by the legal section of the National Elections Commission ended over the weekend in Gbarnga City, Bong County with the NEC acknowledging that providing legal and sustained information to Liberians remains its major priority.
Chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah said, sustained engagement with legal practitioners and voters is paramount and an effective mechanism to building an informed democratic society in Liberia.
She spoke in Bong County at the two days legal awareness Forum for nearly 150 Legal practitioners, including judges and attorneys, district commissioners, traditional leaders, civil society groups, women and youth groups and people with disabilities from Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Margibi and host Bong counties, respectively.
Four commissioners of NEC, including Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah, Boakai A. Dukuly, Barsee Leo Kpangbai and Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar participated in the legal awareness forum in the City of Gbarnga.
Earlier, the United Nations Development Program Chief Technical Adviser to NEC LenkaHomolkova pointed out that long standing relationship between UNDP and NEC is to help consolidate democracy and ensure public trust in the Elections Commission of Liberia.
In special remarks on behalf of the Liberian Government, Deputy Justice Minister Cllr. Nyenati Tuan challenged the participants to serve as ambassadors for NEC in spreading the message of peace and helping to safe guard the current peace. However, he wondered how the NEC could cheat in an election when all stakeholders, including political party representatives, civil society groups, local and international observations are present during the conduct of polls across the country.
The second of the Legal Awareness Forum to enhance Stakeholders’ Understanding of the Legal Electoral Processes for the2020 Special Senatorial Elections and National Referendum opens this Friday, 30 October 2020 in the city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
In a related development, a two-person Elections Experts delegation from the Independent Elections Commission, INEC of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is expected to arrive in Liberia this week to help provide technical support for the Voter Roll Update exercise leading to the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election and the National Referendum.
A NEC statement quotes a communiqué from the Special Representative of the President of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS in Liberia, Ambassador Tunde O. Ajisomo, to the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission Davidetta Browne Lansanah as saying the coming of the two experts from Nigeria to the NEC is in response to a formal request made by President George Manneh Weah to the ECOWAS Commission for technical assistance to support Liberia’s elections.
The communiqué says ECOWAS Elections Support Team is headed by the former Chairperson of the Ghana Election Commission, Madam Charlotte Ossei. The team and will be deployed for a period of 20 days, beginning 21 October 2020 to 10 November 2020. Editing By Jonathan Browne