Liberia: Police Inspector General Sudue Calls on National Elections Commission to Be Proactive in Investigating Election Related Cases

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Ganta, Nimba County – Ahead of the landmark 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Col. Patrick Sudue has called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be proactive in handling election cases brought to it during the process.

Inspector General (IG) Subdue said the delay in handling cases or complaints brought to the NEC by candidates or political parties during elections often has the propensity to create problems. Timely investigation of cases, he noted, will reduce tensions during these crucial periods and boost the level of trust in electoral processes.

The IG spoke at a two-day training for journalists and law enforcement officers on their roles and responsibilities during elections. It was organized by the NEC with support from the United States Agency for International (USAID), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Governments of Ireland and Sweden.

Journalists and officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) and the LNP assigned in Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties, as well as the Southeastern region benefitted from the training.

The Police boss admonished the media to report the real story during elections and refrain from sensationalizing and independently pronouncing results and declaring winners outside of the NEC.

“Journalists don’t have any power to pronounce anyone winner of the election, rather the National Elections Commission is the one who has the power to do so. Do away with negative speeches which may cause trouble,” he said.

He then urged the journalists to combat any form of negative speeches that will create trouble for the nation.

Also speaking, NEC Commissioner, Cllr. Ernestine Morgan-Awar called on the Media and law enforcement officers to be partners in the discharge of their respective duties. This, Cllr. Morgan-Awar said, will lead to mutual understanding and respect between them and boost each other’s work, and enhance peace and security. She called on the international Community to help security apparatus with more capacity building to boost their morale and enhance their work.

The UNDP Team Lead on Governance, James Monibah said inclusiveness, civic engagement, credible and peaceful electoral and democratic processes and Strong justice and responsive institutions have always been key goals of the UNDP.

Mr. Monibah lauded all efforts being exerted towards the development of the Joint- Media- Security Standard Operating Procedures, adding, it was important for the media and law enforcement officers to work closely in providing accurate and timely information, while ensuring the security of the electoral process and all personnel supporting the process.

The UNDP, as a key partner to the Government and People of Liberia, has been providing support to the NEC, political actors, security and other stakeholders to maintain peace and democracy since the end of the civil war.

The NEC is seeking to improve the understanding of the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement personnel and journalists during electoral periods (pre, election-day and post-election periods). The Ganta’s event was part of series of consultations geared towards the development of a standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help facilitate communications and interactions between law enforcement officers and journalists. It marked the second national conference to be held.

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