By Morrison O.G. Sayon The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has called for an improved electoral management system in the country.
Speaking yesterday at a two-day Conference of Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on Lesson Learned from the 2014 Special Senatorial Election, the UNDP Representative said NEC must improve its electoral management system.
The UNDP Representative added that political parties and civil society organizations are major stakeholders in the electoral process and have critical valuable input in the conduct of elections in the country.
The UNDP then pledged its unflinching support to the democratic process in Liberia but wants NEC to take the necessary steps to correct mistakes of the past and improve the standard of the ensuing 2017 Presidential and General Elections in the country.
Earlier, NEC Chairman, Jerome George Korkoya said the two-day workshop is intended to evaluate the 2017 Special Senatorial Election and for the commission to take stock of the last conference conducted with civil society organizations and political parties.
The Chairman said the two-day conference is also intended to look at the successes of the 2017 election and identify successes and recommendations from stakeholders. He added that the forum was organized for political parties and Civil Society Organizations as major stakeholders representing the people.
Cllr. Korkoya said the achievement from the 2014 Special Senatorial Election was not rosy as there were challenges facing the Commission and political parties including the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
He stated further that NEC wants to take retrospection of the 2014 Senatorial Election and determine what went well and for the planning for future elections. “As we approach the 2017 Presidential and General Elections, let us learn from the 2014 Special Senatorial Election,” said Chairman Korkoya.
Political parties in the country have welcomed the conference and pledged their unflinching support to the process and vowed to work with the National Elections Commission to achieve its goal. Speaking on behalf of political parties in the country, the Secretary General of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Andrews, said political parties in the country are willing to work with the NEC in correcting lapses in the 2014 Special Senatorial Election.
The two-day conference of political parties and civil society organizations on Lesson Learnt from the Special Senatorial Election seeks to identify and document stakeholders’ perspective on the successes and challenges that marked the Special Senatorial Election.
The conference is also intended to analyze the various political, legal and social issues that interplayed during the Special Senatorial process and access the impact of decisions that emanated from such issues on the process and to discuss and make recommendations on issues surrounding the level of participation of women in the Special Senatorial Election and suggest ways forward.