Lack of Infrastructure Impacts Polls – Better Future Foundation
Monrovia – Better Future Foundation (BFF), proponent of Liberia Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP), has applauded the mass turnout of citizens for October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections in the country.
In a release issued in Monrovia Thursday, October 12, 2017, BFF however expressed regret that such mass turnout could not be translated into an inclusive participation of all registered voters in the polls.
The youth and student advocacy group also described as unfortunate the gross lack of infrastructure in the country to the extent that some of the facilities that played host to the presidential and legislative elections were unfit to serve the mass turnout, leaving many registered voters particularly pregnant women, nursing mothers, the elderly, physically challenged among others totally disenfranchised.
BFF also flagged a number of challenges which it said were associated with Tuesday polls including delay with respect to the arrival of election materials to some polling centers, voters identification numbers, late commencement and closure of vote cast and counting as well as the apparent inability of some of NEC polling officers to educate and /or guide voters.
In its release signed by Mr. Augustine Arkoi, Founder and President, BFF also pointed out that several individuals who were in possession of official voting cards could not cast their ballots when their names and identification numbers could not be traced in NEC’s official register at multiple polling centers across the country.
Nevertheless, BFF applauded Liberian electorate who remain above violence during the polls on Tuesday amid various challenges.
At the same time, BFF recommended that sustaining Liberia’s democracy must take into account the erection of community centers and other infrastructure across the country by the central government.
Suh infrastructure, according to BFF, must be vetted as befitting not only by the civil society but other relevant stakeholders for accommodation of future electioneering and other public interest programs and activities.
Meanwhile, BFF has called on all political parties, presidential and legislative candidates to show not only full compliance to electoral laws and regulations but also ensure that their followers remain committed to non-violence elections.
BFF further urges political parties and candidates to seek resolution to any grievances they may have from Tuesday polls within the ambit of the laws of the country.
BFF, through its Liberia Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP) has been involved in an intense advocacy that primarily seeks to inspire national consensus building aimed at accelerating human security, respect for, and adherence to the rule of law, promotion of infrastructural development as well as sustaining democratic governance in the country and the sub region.
Through its subsidiary youth development network, Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB), BFF deployed about 21 officially accredited observers and more than 50 civic education volunteers throughout Liberia on election day, who helped to mitigate some challenges at polling places.