YESTERDAY, THE NATIONAL Elections Commission (NEC) began a two-day conference of political parties and civil society organizations on Lesson Learnt from the Special Senatorial Election. The conference seeks to identify and document stakeholders’ perspective on the successes and challenges that marked the Special Senatorial Election.
Marking remarks, a representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) called for an improved electoral management system for the smooth conduct of the 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
THE UNDP REPRESENTATIVE said NEC must improve its electoral management system as the 2017 electoral process draws closer. She said 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.
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.
WE WHOLEHEARTEDLY CONCUR with the statement by the UNDP representative that the National Elections Commission (NEC) should improve the electoral system as the country moves toward the 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
LET US AS stakeholders including the NEC, political parties, civil society organizations as well as candidates and their supporters learn from mistakes of the past especially the 2014 Special Senatorial Election and avoid the issue of protest or misconduct during electoral processes.
WE BELIEVE THAT the 2017 Presidential and General Elections are litmus tests for the National Elections Commission because the 2017 elections will be the first of its kind in many years for a democratically elected President or government to be handling power to others.
THAT IS WHY we are encouraging the Commission to improve on its mistakes especially the 2014 Special Senatorial Election. These gatherings organized by the NEC to solicit views from stakeholders are not just timely, but necessary and step forward for the democratic process of the country.
WE ALSO WELCOME the setting up of a Steering Committee of civil society organizations by the electoral body and call on stakeholders involved in the electoral process to work with the NEC in addressing some of the most contentious issues in the conduct of the 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
AGAIN, LET US as stakeholders including the NEC, political parties and civil society organizations learn from the 2014 Special Senatorial Election and correct those mistakes that were made in the past for a peaceful, free, fair and transparent 2017 Presidential and General Elections.