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NEC Boss Assures Credible And  Transparent General Elections

The Chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC) Davidetta Browne-Lansanah has assured the public that 2023 General Elections will be Free, fair, transparent in a credible manner to help maintain the stability of the nation and facilitate the actualization of the development of Liberia.

Giving remarks at the Launching ceremony of Early Warning and response system in Sinkor, Madam Browne- Lansanah noted that election is the central act of democracy and it is usually the bridge between peace, stability and economic devolvement on the one and conflict, violence and economic stagnation on the other.

“We who manage the electoral process and all stakeholders including political parties, civil society and international partners must be mindful to play our roles in a way that lend credibility to the process and to ensure the outcome is acceptable ” she noted.

According to Madam Browne- Lansanah, NEC has taken a number of actions to ensure the 2023 voter registration and electoral process remain peaceful.

“NEC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Liberia PeaceBuilding office to cooperate and coordinate their efforts aimed at maintaining the peace during the electoral process. The two parties will share information through their decentralized structure and an early warning situation room as well as hold regular dialogue to avert potential conflict issues,” she revealed.

She stated further that the NEC works with the relevant agencies of the government including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, LISGIS, Land Commission and the Governance Commissions to address some of the challenges associated with administrative boundaries that have the propensity of having domino effects on electoral boundaries.

She maintained that the Commission has planned to strengthen its stakeholders’ engagements through the IPCC mechanism as well as direct community engagement across the country on the need for peaceful electoral process.

“The Commission plans to have a robust monitoring and reporting mechanism, tracking potential conflict hotspots and proactively taking remedial actions,” she noted.

Madam Brown- Lansanah said that they will continue to work with the National security apparatus, which has legal responsibility for providing a secure environment for the electoral process, and during the voter registration, the Commission will work closely with the Liberia Immigration authorities to ensure that only Liberians register.

“The NEC is fully aware that a fundamental strategy of engendering a peaceful electoral process is to be transparent and accountable in a proactive manner. We are committed to doing this. We encourage local and international observers to follow the process and we will always value their recommendations,” she concluded.

However, UNDP resident Representative, Stephen Rodrigues said that politics in most parts of the world including Liberia is known by its contentious and competitive nature.

“The political game often brews grievances and we often see parties disputing electoral outcomes and occasionally mobilizing their supporters to protest. These protests sometimes degenerate into violence,” he expressed.

He continued, “We all saw on social media some of the pockets of violence that characterized the Nigeria General Elections as thugs attacked polling units and destroyed elections materials. We have also seen electoral violence in other countries in the region during the past years.”

According to him, there are people in Liberia who would be ready to cause chaos if their parties couldn’t benefit. “Some of them are sitting comfortably in their homes in the US stoking fear, using hate speeches and seeking to destabilize affairs in Liberia,” he stated.

“I feel very confident that we will not bend, will not break and will not fall because of the few. The vast majority of the people of this blessed country want peace and stability and we will help them to ensure that Liberia takes a peaceful path to its elections. Those waiting in the dark and scheming will not succeed,” he emphasized.

He also appealed to the media and political parties to help to cool the temperature, adding that while they respect freedom of speech, they admire proper journalism with ethics and integrity.

“I appeal to our journalists to help us cool the temperature. Encourage tolerance and dialogue; encourage use of the proper channels for handling disputes,” he added.

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