Following the certification of 66 of the 73 representatives elected during the October 10 presidential and representative elections, a local civil society organization has called upon them to be more accountable to their constituents by making the right decisions that will improve their living conditions.
NAYMOTE, a pro-democracy institution, strongly believes that lawmakers should be more accountable, accessible and responsive to their constituents by upholding their constitutional responsibilities to enact legislation, represent citizens’ interests as well as adequately oversee the implementation of policy, rate performance and setup a legislative agenda to promote national development.
“We did not see true representation in the 52nd and 53rd legislatures and as such, we would like for the 54th Legislature to be more engaging and people-centered,” NAYMOTE said yesterday in a statement.
The October 10 elections saw a huge turnover in the House of Representative with a total of 43 new lawmakers elected out of the 73 seats. According to NAYMOTE, this turnover demonstrates citizens’ dissatisfaction with the poor representation or performance of their lawmakers, which was revealed by a survey the institution conducted earlier last year.
The survey revealed that 66 percent of the citizens interviewed were dissatisfied with how their representatives functioned.
NAYMOTE program director, Aaron Weah-Weah, III, noted: “Unfortunately, the huge overturn during the just ended elections indicated that those elected officials were not working in the interest of the citizens, and that they were not responsive or accountable to their constituents.
“It is from this background that we are working to strengthen legislative agenda that will be responsive to citizens’ needs and promote democratic accountability in fulfillment of campaign promises and have initiated the high level youth stakeholders dialogue.”
Through these dialogues, he said, NAYMOTE will be creating a platform for young people to explore opportunities to influence the legislative agenda of the newly elected lawmakers since young people overwhelmingly voted in the elections.
In this regard, he said that NAYMOTE, over the weekend, held two high level youth stakeholder dialogues in Kakata, Margibi County and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, respectively.
“These dialogues are part of ongoing activities under the project,“Promoting Inclusive and Transparent Elections and Youth Engagement in the Electoral Process and Post-Election Debate.” The discussions afforded participants the opportunity to reflect on the factors that contributed to the way these counties voted, highlighting lessons learned from the campaign process and recounting promises made during the campaign period,” Weah-Weah added.