EISA Country Representative Reaffirms Support for Liberia’s Peace, Democracy And Development -As BFF Certificates 116 Election Observers

MONROVIA: The newly appointed Country Representative and Chief of Party of Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA-Liberia), Madam Antonetta Lovejoy Hamandish, has described as a very important milestone, the work of the Better Future Foundation, BFF, in collaboration with the Partners for Democracy and Good Governance (PdG), in the success of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia.

Speaking recently at program marking the Honoring and Certification of 116 Elections Observers of BFF for the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, the EISA Country Representative pointed out that the BFF/PdG elections Observers, as ‘pushers of Democracy and Peace’, must also promote social reconciliation, focusing on rebuilding a healthy Liberian Nation.

The EISA Chief of Party made the statement at a one-day Post-Elections Peace and Reconciliation Dialogue, which took place on the theme– “Taking Ownership for Peace & Democracy: A Call to Young People in Post-Elections Liberia.”

The Recognition and Honoring Ceremony of the BFF/PdG Elections Observers took place at a daylong Post-Election Peace and Reconciliation Dialogue organized by BFF and its collaborating CSO Network, Partners for Democracy and Good Governance (PdG), in partnership with the Swedish International Institute Alumni Network- Liberia (SIANL) in the edifice of the New Hope Academy in Jacobs Town Peace Island, Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

The EISA Chief of Party also backed reports by BFF and other local and global election observers and stakeholders, including the European Union, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and the United States Government, among others that the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia were free, fair, transparent and credible.

“I feel so privileged to talk to you as young people because you are the future of the Liberian Nation. You did very well because all the stakeholders who supported Liberia’s 2023 electoral process couldn’t have known about how the elections went without your insight and persistent nonviolent elections advocacy,” Madam Hamandishe told the honorees.

“I’m very proud of you. This event marks a very important milestone of the work of the Better Future Foundation and you as pushers of peace, and pushers of Democracy in Liberia.

“Continue to push for Democracy and continue to push for peace in every small way,” the EISA Chief of Party emphatically told the BFF honorees.

According to the international election expert, peace and development constitute the solid foundation for any progressive society.

EISA Chief of Party: “What Liberia did in October and November is amazing. I think that as Pushers of Democracy and Peace, you need to promote social Reconciliation. It is now time for Reconciliation with specific focus on rebuilding a healthy and prosperous Liberia”.

Madam Antonetta Hemandishe further told the BFF/PdG election observers: “Your role, as election observers, goes beyond October 10, and November, 14, 2023 presidential and legislative elections. It extends to, among others, your persistent advocacy for peace building and sustainable development.’’

The EISA Liberia-Country Representative also encouraged the BFF/PdG Elections Observers to consistently spread pro-peace and pro-democracy messages at family, community and national levels.

“With BFF giving you its certificates of recognition and honor, it proves and demonstrates that you have been exposed to the nitty-gritty of essentials of what it means to serve as Ambassadors for peace, to sustain and cultivate peace and democracy in Liberia and the ECOWAS subregion” she stressed.

Madam Antonetta Lovejoy Hamandish: “I challenge you to go to your respective families and communities and spread the messages of peace and development in Liberia and the ECOWAS subregion”, she pointed out.

At the same time, the EISA Country Representative congratulated Liberia for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections, followed by a smooth transfer of power in line with not only the nation’s constitution but also the wishes and aspirations of the Liberian people.

Ms. Julateh K. Mulbah, President of the Swedish Institute Alumni Network-Liberia (SIANL), use the occasion to acknowledge the Swedish Government’s outstanding support toward the human resource development in Liberia, through the provision of scholarship opportunities for young Liberians to acquire diverse professional skills in Sweden.

Ms. Mulbah went on to encourage aspiring Liberian youth across the country to take advantage of the Swedish Government’s scholarship opportunity being offered annually, with assurance that the Alumni Network is always available to provide orientation on how to access the scholarships.

Mr. Sam Samie Sumo, Outgoing President of SIANL, expressed delight for the partnership with BFF, in anticipation for more future collaborations.

The dialogue, which was moderated by BFF Founder/CEO Augustine S. Arkoi, was attended by an array of distinguished International Guests, and prodemocracy and human rights activists, including Mr. Adama Dempster, Secretary General of the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia; Amb. Beverly Goll Yekeson, Founder of The Liberia Crisis Center for Abused Women and Children; Atty. Alvin Yelloway, Distinguished Lawyer and Member of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), all of whom characterized the peace and reconciliation dialogue as rewarding, and responsive to the post-elections healing and development of Liberia.

Ms. EunA Lee of Joong Bu University, and Engineer Hyoung Tae Lee both of South Korea who also presented certificates of appreciation on behalf of BFF/PdG to elections observers, hailed Liberians for the recently held peaceful Legislative and Presidential Elections; and challenged the youth in the country to serve as catalyst for sustainable peace and development in Liberia.

The Recognition and Honoring of the 116 BFF Elections Observers also coincided with a submission of a formal Petition by BFF and Partners for Democracy and Good Governance, PdG, to the Government of Liberia, through President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, for Accountability and Recovery of Liberia’s Stolen Wealth, amounting to US$4.6 Billion.

BFF, in its Petition, also called for Dispensation of Social Justice, fight against unbridled and systemic corruption, Commitment to, and Indiscriminate Application of the Rule of Law in Liberia.

BFF, through its PdG CSO Network, during the elections, mobilized, trained and deployed 177 elections observers in 13 of the 15 counties of Liberia, to observe the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

The PdG network observers, represent a Consortium of more than 20 civil society human rights and pro-democracy organizations, and CBOs, inspired by their shared desire for strategic collaboration to promote peace, democracy and good governance in Liberia and the West African Subregion.

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