13 December 2012

Liberia: NEC Intensifies Electoral Reforms

The National Elections Commission (NEC) appears to be doubling its efforts in the quest of reforming Liberia's electoral laws before the conduct of the 2017 presidential and general elections.

Following recent consultations with political parties and government institutions, NEC Wednesday engaged head of the Liberia Council of Churches, Muslim Community and Inter Religious Council on the way forward to reforming electoral laws.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the National Elections Commission (NEC), Acting Chairperson Cllr. Elizabeth Nelson said, the consultation with religious groups is an ongoing series that is intended to build census among Liberians, especially about the reformation of the electoral laws.

"This has absolutely become necessary given that some of the existing laws that apply to elections are ambiguous, while others were specially enacted for the 2005 elections, and such are not applicable in the present electoral system. In fulfillment of this recommendation, NEC in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and the UNDP has over the last six months been massively holding a series of nationwide consultative forums to solicit the inputs of citizens in the electoral law reform process", she added.

According to her, the consultations were conducted in 10 of the 15 counties of Liberia, including Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Nimba and Sinoe counties.

She also informed the gathering that the consultation with women groupings was very important because mainstreaming women with emphasis on women and youth in electoral processes over the last six years has been an area of major concern to the National Elections Commission.

Also speaking at the ceremony from the Liberia Council of Churches, David Parker expressed thanks and appreciation for recognizing the LCC as a partner in reforming the electoral laws and promised that the Churches will duly stand with NEC in its challenges.

A representative of the Muslim Community, Sam M. Kromah, also expressed the community's willingness to collaborate with NEC in having a better electoral structure.

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