The National Elections Commission (NEC) has conducted a four-day institutional, consultative and capacity enhancement workshop for on-boarding and Senior Election Commissioners and Managers.
The Exercise held July 22-25, 2020, was supported and funded by UNDP Liberia Elections Basket Fund- European Union in Liberia, Irish Aid, Canada, and Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia.
NEC Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lansanah says, the Commission faces a task of delivering credible, democratic and transparent elections as well as, a referendum which requires bringing together staffers with sufficient knowledge and experience to support one another.
“This coordinated support must be at the level of units, sections, departments and the Board as we bring our experiences together on a common table of reasoning and support to one another,” Lansanah stressed.
She expressed appreciation to development Partners, (UNDP Elections Basket Fund for the continued support to the NEC.
The Swedish Head of Cooperation in Liberia urged the Elections Commission to encourage more women participation in the electoral process, by mainstreaming the issue of gender at the policy level and also ensure that first time voters are not left out.
Elisabeth Harleman noted that the role of women in the electoral process serves as an inspiration to the growth and development of the Country.
“The National Elections Commission has a primary responsibility to support women’s participation in the electioneering process to help influence the change needed for the development of the Country,” Harleman noted.
Earlier, UNDP Resident Representative Pa Lamin Beyai, mentioned that UNDP is supporting the NEC to conduct on-boarding process to integrate and acculturate new commissioners together with capacity enhancement of other senior elections managers, aimed at strengthening relationships and managing expectations.
Dr. Beyai noted that the successful Mid-Term Senatorial Elections and National Referendum are critical not only to further consolidate Liberia’s democracy, but are also tests for the new Board of Commissioners to attract partners, as well as instill public trust in future elections.
He however emphasized that However, NEC cannot do it alone without the concerted efforts of all stakeholders—Government, Partners and the Liberian people.
“In the midst of competing demands for resources during the global coronavirus pandemic, cost-effective approach to the electoral process and government’s funding commitments are necessary to attract support from partners,” the UNDP Boss intimated.
Dr. Beyai encouraged NEC to open discussions with relevant government agencies, and other stakeholders; on decreasing the cost of elections, effectively utilizing existing assets, with a view to fostering a sense of national ownership and reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to genuine partnership with NEC, to further nurture democracy in Liberia.
The successful conduct of the workshop points to an opportunity not only to hold the routine administrative and operational electoral discussion amongst elections staff, but by this measure, it targeted consolidating ideas from across the various NEC participating Departments, Sections and Units into a forecast for initiating a way forward.
It is highly anticipated that those ideas will be used to highlight what have worked in the past, nationally and internationally, based on informed knowledge sharing.
The knowledge sharing process shall list not only the challenges for conducting elections in Liberia, but also, that indicators can be incorporated in leading the road to doing it successfully.