Regional sessions launched on new Elections Laws

Jul 6, 2016

467 (115 women, 352 males) stakeholders representing various organizations including Market Women, Women Groups participated in these regional sessions

The National Elections Commission (NEC) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union (EU), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and UNDP, has conducted series of nation-wide information sessions on the Amended Elections Law of 2014.

The Sessions seek to provide understanding of the Elections Law Amendments, its applicability and relevance for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

467 (115 women, 352 males) stakeholders representing various organizations including Political Parties, Youth Groups, Traditional Leaders, Market Women, Teacher’s Associations, Inter-Religious Council, Women Groups etc. participated in these regional sessions between 17 May – 5 July at designated areas where the country was divided into 4 regional sub-divisions.

The first phase of the exercise was held in Zwedru, where participants were drawn from Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Grandkru, Rivergee and Sinoe Counties. The second phase was held in Buchanan bringing participants from Grand Bassa, Margibi, Rivercess and Montserrado Counties, while the third phase was held in Gbarnga with Participants coming from Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.

During the 4th phase of the exercise held in Tubmanburg, participants from Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu were drilled on issues regarding reduction of barriers related to voters’ registration, documentations, prevention of voting malpractices etc.

In opening remarks at the 4th session, NEC Program Director Nathan Garbie said the sessions were necessary to provide a level plain field for individuals seeking elected posts in 2017 and to explain the changes made in the election laws for better understanding and for participants to serve as Ambassadors in their various counties, communities and organizations.

“Election is like a football match, you might not enjoy the game if you don’t understand the rules” Garbie noted.

Also speaking, IFES Finance and Administrative Manager Barzie Zinnah stressed that the training was the beginning of the level plain field that Liberians are yearning for, adding that the NEC is open to explaining the “Rules of Engagement” to enable eligible voters understand their role.

For his part, UNDP Electoral Reform and Inter-party Consultant McAnthony Keah said several changes have been made in the election law which require proper explanations. Mr. Keah urged participants to take advantage of the opportunity to be Ambassadors for their communities.

The amended laws among other things, create new rules that enhance transparency and build citizens’ confidence concerning complaints, campaign expenses, registration fees, contributions, reporting etc.

Participant Boima Kamara from Bomi County admonished the NEC to increase awareness and do all in its power to enforce the amended laws especially those related to “trucking voters”.

Contact

For further information, contact:

Baratashvili, George-Acting Chief Technical Advisor Tel;+231 776109195/ e-mail-george.baratashvili@und.org

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: zotasam@gmail.com Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

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