Funding Problem: NEC Experiences Delay in 2017 Preparation


Monrovia – Mobilizing resources to commence activities leading to the 2017 elections is proving a bit difficult for National Election Commission.

Report by Al-Varney Rogers

The timetable provides from September 5 to December 16, 2016 for regional consultation on civic and voter education and gender for voter registration but those activities are yet to commence. 

One organization that working to ensure that the 2017 election is successful is the National Youth Movement for Transparency Election (NAYMOTE), which is expected to host a workshop on the  stakeholders’ dialogue on the 2017 electoral management. 

The overall goal of the dialogue is to assess the level of preparedness of electoral stakeholders, identify critical challenges, gaps and progress, as well as safeguard inclusiveness in the electoral management cycle for a peaceful transition.

Recently at the United Nations General Assembly, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed the need for full international support to Liberia so as to ensure free and fair democratic elections in the country in 2017.

According to a dispatch from Washington, President Sirleaf made the call on Friday, September 23, 2016, when she received an award from the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) of the International Republican Institute (IRI).

The Liberian Leader Sirleaf noted that the next election would be a defining moment in Liberia, adding that it would be the first time a democratically elected civilian President, representing the aspirations of a broad section of the Liberian citizenry, will turn over power to another democratically elected President.

Indicating that she had no intention to manipulate the Liberian Constitution to hold on to power, President Sirleaf assured her government’s full adherence to the constitutional process, and that she looks forward to a peaceful retirement in Liberia following the end of her tenure.

Liberia is approaching a historic moment in its journey towards democracy advancement and development. The 2017 elections will usher in the first post-war transfer of political power, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turns over the country’s leadership to a newly democratic elected President.

The Liberian leader applauded the IRI for the critical support the organization has provided to build and strengthen Liberia’s democratic system.

She made specific mention of IRI’s support to Liberia during the 2005 elections, the first following the devastating civil war in the country.

Monday, October 10, 2016 marks exactly one year from a very crucial Presidential and representative elections, which will contribute towards consolidating the peace and democratic gains made over the past years.

The dialogue by NAYMOTE will feature two panel discussions and will address participants on various issue relating to the preparedness of the electoral management body and electoral stakeholders to support the smooth conduct of the 2017 elections and peaceful transition of political power.

NAYMOTE Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo said, “In the wake of the revised electoral law, the code of conduct, increase number of political parties, the creation of new voter’s registry, the proposed affirmative action bill (21 additional seats), and issues regarding the threshold for voter registration, as well as the UNMIL, it is important to begin engaging key electoral stakeholders and election management body around their preparedness as we move closer to upcoming elections in order to adequately address the existing challenge and shorting comings and find a way forward to ensure a smooth democratic transition.”