The Election Coordinating Committee (ECC), a coalition of seven civil society organizations set to observe elections in Liberia, yesterday ended one day of panel discussions in Monrovia. The discussions were part of the ECC’s mandate to ensure that credible elections are held in the country.
The meeting held at a resort in Monrovia brought together political party representatives, donors, and civil society organizations. They discussed issues regarding the conduct of peaceful and participatory elections in 2017.
Oscar Bloh, head of the ECC, who spoke to reporters shortly after the opening of the meeting, expressed the need to involve representatives of political parties in the discussion of issues relevant to the holding of peaceful elections in the country.
“Elections are not just about going to cast ballots, but what one votes for matters. So there is growing concern about some Liberians not wanting to vote,” Mr. Bloh said.
Mr. Bloh said since 2005, Liberia has made some significant gains, particularly in the past two elections, but observed that it does not mean all is well.
“If you follow our political history, it will inform you that come 2017, our country will be making a serious transition that will determine the outcome of where we are going as a nation in terms of scrutinizing our democracy, creating vacancy in elections and how voters can make formal complaints after the process,” he said.
Mr. Bloh urged Liberians and political party representatives to continue looking at gaps and challenges in the election process so that the country will not reverse the gains made.
Mr. Bloh meanwhile expressed gratitude to members of the 53th National Legislature for the passage of the 1986 electoral law that clearly states how political parties should operate thereby guaranteeing increased citizens’ participation in future elections.