The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the National Elections Commission (NEC) have pledged their support to not-for-profit group Emancipation Movement of Liberia (EMOL) to strengthen voter education to ensure Liberia’s democratic empowerment.
The pledge was made when an EMOL delegation, led by its Executive Director, Jarwinken Wiah, visited the NEC and PUL.
NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya said citizens’ empowerment for democratic participation on the community level before and after elections has been a vacuum in the country.
As a result of the vacuum, elected officials take advantage of their electorates and don’t work in their interest, Korkoya said.
“Citizens have the right to hold their elected officers accountable after elections, and such democratic engagements need to be practised in the country,” he added.
He expressed appreciation for the EMOL delegation’s drive to create awareness on the importance of the right citizens have to participate in the elections as well as hold their officials accountable for what they do.
The NEC chairman pledged to partner with EMOL in its community engagement and democratic empowerment programs after the elections.
EMOL Project Director Aaron Manneh said elections is an event after which sustaining peace and national development must be handled with care.
He said EMOL is determined to empower citizens of the 73 electoral districts to help them put into practice Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution to compel elected officials to be accountable to them.
EMOL Executive Director Jarwinken Wiah said the delegation is in the country to launch and implement the ‘MY Vote is Power’ project.
At the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) headquarters on Clay Street, PUL President Charles Coffey praised the vision of EMOL and also pledged to partner with EMOL to realize its objectives.
Mr. Coffey said: “The PUL will partner with EMOL in enlightening Liberians on their civic responsibilities.”
He expressed PUL’s appreciation and promised to work along with EMOL to enhance national peace and democracy.
EMOL officials informed PUL officials of their core activities aimed at nurturing national peace and sustaining Liberia’s democracy beyond the October elections.
They said building true democracy amid extreme poverty and illiteracy has challenges that only through adequate information can the people understand their roles in the process.
EMOL is a Liberian civil society organization registered in both the United States and Liberia as a not for profit, non-partisan community empowerment and peace building institution. It has been accredited by the NEC to conduct voter and civic education nationwide.