Nat’l Confab On Elections Next Week -To Increase Contestants’ Engagement

MONROVIA: A High-Level National Conference on Elections Integrity, with the theme: “United for Peaceful and Prosperous Liberia” and will take place in Monrovia, from September 26-28 at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

According to a press release from the organizers, jointly Organized by the Liberia Peace Building Office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Elections Coordinating Committee, ECC, Liberia Elections Observation Network LEON, Center for Development and Elections Management (CEDEM), with support from the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office, the Conference intends to take concrete actions to increase the engagement of the political contestants in building peace at all levels of the Liberian society for the prevention and resolution of conflicts by ensuring the integrity and credibility of these Elections.

The release said the actions of the contestants could either help sustain the peace or cause violence, based on variables that play out during and after these elections. The Conference will mobilize leaders of various political parties, youth and women leagues to share perspectives on how they will contribute towards the integrity and credibility of these elections.

Edward Mulbah, Executive Director of the Liberia Peace Building Office is quoted in the release as mentioning that, in addition to local speakers, the Organizers have invited other inspirational speakers from West and other parts of Africa.

Mulbah continued that the Conference expects to draw experiences and lessons from similar contexts, including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya Sierra Leone, and South Sudan that inform anticipated steps to address the risks of violence and prevent challenges leading to quality of the elections, its credibility and integrity for a free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections.

Furthermore, the release stated that representative from the international community, including the European Union member states – Sweden, Ireland, France, and Germany, as well as the Economic Community of West African States, the Embassies of the United Kingdom and the United States of America have all expressed some level of concern for different critical aspects of the electoral process.

The release pointed out that enormous investments by these friendly nations and institutions must serve the best interest of the democratic process void of violence that electoral irregularities and malpractices could trigger.

Primary participants in the National Conference will include Political parties, electoral contestants, media, judiciary, security forces, Government officials, Analysts on elections, the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia, the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, and Traditional Leadership Authorities.

The secondary groups include civil society, especially representatives of Women and Youth groups, persons living with disabilities, members of umbrella civil society organizations, as well as vulnerable groups such as the motorcyclists, opportunity youth, amongst others. International organizations, partners, and donors will be invited as witnesses and advisors to the process. It is expected that 200 participants from the 15 counties will participate in the Conference.

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