LIBERIA: National Stakeholders Conference: Delegates Resolve to Support NEC in Conducting SSE and Referendum
Gbarnga – Closed to100 delegates at the National Stakeholders Conference, on the Special Senatorial Election (SSE) and Referendum at the weekend signed a Resolution supporting ongoing activities of National Elections Commission in conducting the elections.
NEC on Saturday August 29, 2020 ended a 2-day National Stakeholders Conference in Gbarnga, Bong County, on the conduct of the 2020 SSE and Referendum to enhance Voters’ participation in the electoral process through sustained and robust civic and voter education activities on the SSE and constitutional referendum.
The Conference gathered about 100 key stakeholders from the 15 Counties of Liberia including Superintends of the 15 Counties, Commissioners, traditional leaders and chiefs, women and youth groups, and people living with disabilities.
Topics presented included “the legal basis of conducting the voter registration update, the SSE, and the Referendum; 2020 Voter Registration; Hearing Procedures for the 2020 SSE; Referendum Issues- Questions and Symbols; Nonviolence approach for the 2020 SSE; Highlights of CVE activities, and Issues of Gender Parity”.
Following wide-ranging consultations over the 2-days of deliberations at the Conference, a Resolution Committee was formulated, which analyzed and rationalized issues and concerns pertaining to the holding of the 2020 SSE and Referendum on December 8, 2020.
The 12-member Committee concluded that:
- That the Delegates have resolved to fully support the NEC in all required for the conduct of the election, especially in the area of civic and voter education;
- That holding all things constant, the SSE be held on December 8, 2020 throughout the 15 Counties as mandated by the Joint Resolution of the Legislature;
- And in the event where the December 8, 2020 mandated date is not obtained, a national sovereign Stakeholders Conference should be held to conduct the best options under the circumstance;
- Specifically, we the delegates of women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to participate in the voter roll update so as to enable them to fully and largely turn out in the Referendum and SSE come December 8, 2020;
- That the level of civic and voter education should be increased across the country to enable local people to be fully informed especially on the constitutional Referendum come December 8, 2020; and,
- That, based on our deliberation on the National Stakeholders Conference and the desire to embark upon an extensive outreach, the Conference’s Delegates resolved that the NEC provides support to local groups, including PWDs and women groups in the drive to expand civic and voter education for the SSE and Referendum.
The 2-day interactive Conference was officially launched by the NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah on Friday August 28, 2020. She was supported by the rest of the six Commissioners of the new Board, who were all present at the Conference over the two days. At the official opening of the Conference, the entire Board was formally introduced to the delegates.
Responding to the Resolution, Chairperson Lansanah lauded the delegates for their decision to endorse the efforts of the Commission and the decision of the Joint Resolution of the Legislature to have the SSE held on December 8, 2020. She said the NEC will continue to work hard to meet the constitutional mandate of conducting both the SSE and Referendum.
Following the 2-day Conference, NEC’s 2020 activities will intensify with the start of the Candidate Nomination on Tuesday September 1-21, 2020. The Commission will also commence the Voter Roll Update (VRU) of September 11-25, 2020. The VRU will be on a mobile basis, over the period of 15 days. Each of the mobile Teams will spend three days at each of the 2080 Registration Centers across Liberia.