Liberia: ECC Engages Joint Security Taskforce Ahead of 2023 Elections
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has held a one-day engagement meeting with the national security sector of Liberia. Security agencies that participated in the engagement meeting with the ECC in Monrovia last Friday were the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the joint security taskforce on elections which include the Justice Ministry, Liberia Immigration Services, Ministry of Defense, etc. The national headquarters of the Liberian National Police served as the venue for the engagement meeting.
According to a press release, the purpose of the ECC engagement meeting with the nation’s security apparatuses was to discuss relevant security issues such as the growing militancy within political parties, and women’s insecurity, especially women serving as candidates during the 2023 general and presidential elections.
During Friday’s meeting, the ECC informed the security sector that it was deeply concerned about the proliferation of political parties’ militancy, voters’ trucking, and the use of the color of the National Police uniform by private security agencies. The ECC also inquired from members of the nation’s security apparatus about their plans regarding the provision of adequate security protection for Liberians during the ensuing elections.
Responding to ECC’s inquiry, the various agencies that spoke at the engagement meeting expressed their respective security agency preparedness to provide adequate security protection to Liberians irrespective of their political affiliations. They informed the ECC that they were taking measures to curtail the acts of growing political parties’ militancy, voters’ trucking, and other issues that might impede the prospect of holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country, adding that they too are concerned about the issues raised by the ECC.
In spite of their preparedness to provide security protection to all Liberians during the 2023 elections, the security sector lamented the lack of financial and logistical support to their agencies. They described the lack of support (financial and logistical) as a serious hindrance to doing their work. The security sector used the engagement meeting to ask the ECC to include in its advocacy the issue of financial and logistical support for its sector.
Meanwhile, the ECC has described its engagement meeting with the Liberian National Police and the joint security taskforce as fruitful and productive. The ECC said the engagement meeting was important given the fact that security has become a major concern for everyone as the nation moves toward the process of the 2023 presidential and general elections.
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) is Liberia’s largest domestic election observation network with diverse competencies, experiences and expertise in democracy, elections and governance established since 2010. The ECC comprises of seven-member institutions and networks including: Center for Democratic Governance (CDG); Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP); Center for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (CECPAP),
Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD); Naymote Partners for Democratic Development; West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), and the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). The ECC works in partnership with Democracy International, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).