15 April 2016

Liberia: EU Diplomat Hints On Ways to Peaceful and Successful Poll

Monrovia — The European Union (EU) has stated that effective coordination and clear ownership by different electoral actors will ensure peaceful and successful elections.

Speaking at a workshop on "Addressing Security Challenges for the Management of the 2017 Elections in Liberia: Creating a Sense of Ownership," in Monrovia on Wednesday, 13th April 2016, EU Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann said election security was a good example of the importance of coordination, not only between election stakeholders, but also with other ongoing processes in the security sector such as decentralisation and preparations for UNMIL drawdown.

Ambassador Intelmann hinted that a proper election security budget adopted in good time, based on a clear assessment of electoral violence risks and appropriate mitigation as well as lessons learnt from previous elections, is a crucial element of the election process.

However, she cautioned relevant stakeholders to consider the national budget constraints and make efforts to avoid duplication of different budget requests to ensure the available funds are used effectively.

The workshop was part of the European Union funded '2015-2018 Liberian Electoral Cycle Support Project' implemented by UNDP. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Elections Commission and core electoral stakeholders to successfully carry out their activities. Through this project, the EU has made a USD 11 million (10 million Euro) commitment to support the democratic process in Liberia.

Background Information

EU election support:

The '2015-2018 Liberian Electoral Cycle Support Project' is being undertaken with the National Elections Commission (NEC) and UNDP as Implementing Partner.

European Union funding is 10 million Euros (approx. US$ 11.3m). UNDP is contributing USD 1 million.

Project Objectives:

To enhance the democratization process in Liberia through improved electoral institutions and processes; to strengthen the capacity of NEC and core electoral stakeholders to conduct their core activities in an impartial, transparent and sustainable manner and successfully carry out scheduled electoral processes within the electoral cycle 2015-2018; support is provided to the NEC, the IPCC, to civil society and the media.

The project covers the whole electoral cycle and the following areas:

Improvement of the NEC functioning; improvement of the Voter's registration; enhancement of the women's political participation; enhancement of the political parties' capacity and putting in place conflict prevention measures; promotion of the international standards for the elections security forces; strengthening Civic and voter's education; strengthening the electoral legal framework and the constitutional review process as it relates to elections and harmonization of the election law and regulations; logistics and operational support to the elections.

The European Union funded a similar project in 2010 - 2012 covering the last presidential election period.

Workshop:

Participants at the workshop considered issues such as the operational implications of election security, initiatives related to UNMIL drawdown, lessons learnt from recent elections, border security and citizenship issues.

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