The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) Partners for Democratic Development will convene a one-day stakeholders’ dialogue on Monday, October 10, in Monrovia.
NAYMOTE Executive Director Eddie Jarwolo told a news conference yesterday that the dialogue will focus on the electoral management process of the upcoming 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
“The overall goal of the dialogue is to assess the level of preparedness of electoral stakeholders, identify critical challenges, gaps and progress as well as safeguard inclusiveness in the electoral management cycle for a peaceful democratic transition,” Mr. Jarwolo said.
The theme of the discussion is “October 10, One Year to Elections: How Prepared Are We?” and will be held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Church in Sinkor.
As Liberia approaches a historic moment on its journey towards advancing and developing its fledgling democracy, the 2017 elections will usher in the first post-war transfer of political power, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turns over the country’s leadership to a new democratically elected president, said Mr. Jarwolo.
October 10, 2016, marks exactly one year from very crucial presidential and representative elections, which will contribute towards consolidating the peace and democratic gains the country has made since the signing of the peace accord in Accra, Ghana in 2003.
He said the dialogue will feature two discussions and address various issues on the preparedness of the electoral management body and electoral stakeholders to support the smooth conduct of the 2017 elections and a peaceful transition of political power.
NAYMOTE has invited to the dialogue speakers from the National Elections Commission Elections Coordinating Committee, the security sector (Liberia National Police), the Coalition of Women in Political Parties and international partners.
In the wake of the revised electoral law, the code of conduct, increased number of political parties, the creation of the new voter’s registry, the proposed Affirmative Action Bill (21 additional seats), and issues regarding the threshold for voter registration, as well as the departure of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Jarwolo said: “It is important to begin engaging key electoral stakeholders and election management bodies on their preparedness as we move closer to the upcoming elections to adequately address the existing challenges and shortcomings, and find a way forward to ensure a smooth democratic transition.”
Partners for Democratic Development promotes citizens’ understanding of democratic processes and the long-term benefits of their participation in these processes. Established in 2001 by student leaders and activists, the institution has been one of the leading grassroots organizations promoting democracy, peace building, human rights and civic engagement in Liberia.
Since 2001, the institution has initiated several programs to foster political accountability such as making elected leaders more accessible, responsible and accountable to the electorates, building the capacity of local leaders to be more effective in service delivery and increasing youth and women’s participation in decision making processes. It has also conducted research on citizens’ perception of the work of lawmakers; produced publications on youth participation in local government; fostered social accountability; produced a legislative guide to organize town hall meetings and a civic and voter’s education guide.