The Political Affairs and Gender Sections of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has commenced the last in a series of six separate Training of Trainers for Political Party Poll-Watchers and Tactile Ballot Guide workshops for members of the Disabled Community from five counties held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The Political Party agents and Gender Training workshops in Buchanan City are in collaboration with the Peace Building Office in Liberia, the United Nations Development Program, and the National Democratic Institute, with funds from the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
Nearly 100 Party Agents and Independent Candidates from Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe, Rivercess and Bomi counties are attending the Polling and Counting Procedures workshop, while 34 persons representing Disabled Communities from Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Bong and host Grand Bassa, are attending the tactile ballot guide workshop, respectively.
NEC Commissioner Boakai A. Dukuly, with oversight on Political Affairs, said unless party agents are fully trained to understand the laws of elections and rules guiding polling and counting procedures, the current peace in Liberia would always face threat.
Commissioner Dukuly said to avoid violence during the 8 December 2020 elections, the NEC and partners, UNDP and Peace Building Office decided to organize series of training of trainers’ workshops to properly educate parties and independent candidates’ agents to properly serve on Election Day.
He challenged both party agents and Disabled Community Representatives on Tactile Ballot Guide training to always serve as ambassadors for peace, rather than instigate conflicts, adding, in conflict there are no winners, only destruction of hospitals, schools and lives, leading to breakdown of law and order.
The Program Coordinator of UNDP Roosevelt Zazay said, the long- standing partnership with the NEC since 2011 is largely to strengthen the capacity of the Commission first, and to sustain peace through regular conducts of free, fair, credible, and transparent elections throughout the country.
Mr. Zazay said the gender and party agents training is intended to adequately educate them to make informed decisions, as they vote in the 8 December 2020 Special Senatorial Election, National Referendum and two representative by-elections in Montserrado and Sinoe counties.
The Political Affairs and Gender Sections of the NEC over the last two weeks conducted two separate workshops simultaneously for 200 party agents and 68 disabled members in Ganta and Tubmanburg, respectively, funded by UNDP, National Democratic Institution, and USAID.