6 June 2018

Liberia: Commissioner Dukuly Calls On Political Parties to Establish a Secretariat

The commissioner for political affairs at the National Elections Commission (NEC) has admonished political parties to establish a secretariat to enhance their interactions with NEC and other stakeholders.

Commissioner Boakai Dukuly told political party members that a secretariat would give them more independence and help them to work properly. He said the parties, under the banner of the Inter-Party Consultative Committee (IPCC), are basically active during election years. He said this has created setbacks in some instances.

Commissioner Dukuly, who has oversight on political affairs, was speaking Tuesday, June 5, 2018 during the opening ceremonies of a four-day lesson learnt for the 2017 presidential and representative elections workshop for political parties, held in Ganta, Nimba County.

The program, jointly organized by the NEC, UNDP and IFES, brought together registered political parties in the country to share their experiences during the 2017 elections and proffer a way forward through a resolution.

Commissioner Dukuly urged party representatives to be critical on themselves, to find the ills, not necessarily the good side of the elections. "Let this be a self-assessment, be serious and honest to yourselves", he said. He said "look at what you did and you did not correct to inform future decisions". He stressed that if the participants fail to point out the failures in the 2017 elections, it means they will have failed.

Two veteran politicians, Professor Alaric Tokpa and former Senator Blamoh Nelson, are lead coordinators and presenters of the four-day workshop. Topics include: the concept of credible elections, legal framework, electoral laws, guidelines and regulations and the enabling environment. Others are finance, human resource and organization, as well as issues around the final voter roll.

Commissioner Dukuly praised the two lead presenters, Alaric and Blamoh, for their remarkable role in the political history of Liberia and urged young party members to emulate their good examples.

In closing, the Commissioner, who also chairs the pending by-elections of Bong and Montserrado counties, promised NEC's unyielding commitment to work with all registered political parties in the country as usual. "NEC is open at all times". Commissioner Dukuly also recognized the good role of the international partners including IFES and UNDP, who are gracing the workshop.

It can be recollected that it was in Ganta, Nimba County in 2017 that the IPCC members signed the declaration of nonviolence, leading to the 2017 elections. Hence, the organizers of the IPCC lesson learnt for the 2017 elections said they selected the very city for commemoration.

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