Open Gov’t Partnership Steering Committee Lauds Senate

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The Steering Committee of Liberia’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) program has lauded the Liberian Senate for what it terms as “landmark discussion” for the reinstatement of the Automated Voting Machines during deliberations.

OGP is an international initiative that creates dialogue between government and civil society to promote openness, transparency, accountability, citizens’ participation, government responsiveness and innovation as well as technology, thereby empowering citizens to fight corruption. The OGP of Liberia is hosted by the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).

Automated Voting Machines are used for a faster, easier and more accurate election.

The deliberations on the reinstatement of the Automated Voting Machines were held by Plenary during the 10th day sitting of the third session of the Senate.

Following the intense deliberation on the matter, which was supported by majority members of the Senate, a motion was made by Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson for the communication to be sent to the committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Rules, Orders and Administration to report to Plenary within two weeks.

The motion was then overwhelmingly voted upon through unanimous votes by members of that august body.

Accordingly, the OGP Steering Committee, in a release issued on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, stated that the use of the machines will allow for open and transparent voting processes.

The release, signed by the Head of Secretariat; Mr. J. G. Ralph Jimmeh, Jr., and Chairman of the Steering Committee and Point of Contact of OGP-Liberia, Atty. Daniel C. Gayedyu, Jr., noted that the modernized system of capturing legislative votes will also enable lawmakers’ constituencies to know in real time the voting records and habits of their elected officials.

The OGP Committee also pointed out that the new system, when reinstated, will also enhance issues-based politicking, as Senators carry out their responsibilities of representation, lawmaking and oversight.

“The Steering Committee calls on the House of Representatives to follow the exemplary action of the Senate in an effort to demonstrate the commitment of the entire National Legislature to openness and transparency. This move will be in conformity with international protocols and government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity & Development (PAPD),” said the Committee.

“Senator Cooper’s decision to be a champion of the OGP in the National Legislature is worthy of commendation. We call on other members of the Legislature to emulate his good example for the benefit of not just their individual constituencies, but the entire country,” Ralph Jimmeh added.

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