South African Ambassador accredited to Liberia, VP Moodley is calling on Liberians across the country to help in sustaining the democratic gains made over the years.
Addressing a gathering of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) headed by Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, local and international observers, including a technical team of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa and the media over the weekend, Amb. Moodley said “The outcome of the elections will therefore serve as a crucial test for the consolidation of Liberia’s democracy and the commitment of political leaders to create a better future for the country.”
The South African Envoy made the remarks when he officially turned over, on behalf of his government elections equipment worth over US$2 million to the NEC. “Earlier in this year, there was a request for the South African Government to assist Liberia with some electoral support. After this was agreed to, a list of priority items needed for the smooth operations of the elections was handed over during the State Visit to South Africa in August this year by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” he said.
“I am very pleased therefore to be able to inform you that South Africa has acceded to providing some important equipment which will be used by the National Elections Commission of Liberia as they conduct and manage the election process,” he noted.
The equipment donated to the NEC included 2 uninterruptable power supplies, 30 laptops, 19 heavy duty laser printers, 19 digital projectors, 19 heavy duty photocopiers, 1 surveillance license server, 19 CCTV camera systems nineteen 8 port switchers and 500 solar lighting kits.
Moodley said the equipment will mainly be deployed to ensure that transparency in the capturing and reporting of results is achieved. “We hope this will contribute to a credible electoral process that Liberians will be proud of,” he noted.
Touching on the Africa Agenda Vision 2063 he said “We aspire that by 2063 Africa will be a continent where democratic values, culture, practices, universal principles of human rights, gender equality, justice and the rule of law are entrenched; and have capable institutions and transformative leadership in place at all levels.”
“The elections for a new president and a new House of Representatives represent a historic opportunity for Liberia and the eyes of the world will be on this country as you elect a new leadership,” he stated.
He pointed out that Liberians, as citizens of Africa’s oldest independent nation have the right to expect from their elected representatives a commitment to leadership that will not sacrifice the peace that that the nation has worked so hard to sustain.
“Since the end of the civil wars, Liberians have successfully carried out two peaceful democratic elections, restoring some confidence in the institutions of government and proving that differences can be resolved through peaceful political polls,” he added.
He emphasized that sustaining democratic gains means long term efforts to build institutions of government that are inclusive, transparent, corruption-free and able to provide opportunities for, and services to all citizens. “It also means building the capacity of these institutions to enable Liberia to be less reliant on donor assistance and funding in future,” Moodley noted.
Symbolically receiving the equipment which were already stocked at the headquarters of the Commission, Cllr. Korkoya said the NEC is grateful to the people and government of SA for donating the equipment at a time when its job is more critical in Liberian electoral history than ever before.
“I am pleased, Mr. Ambassador, to say on behalf of the NEC that we are very grateful for the continuous support of your government and people in seeing to it that Liberia is at peace with herself and continues to be a good example on the continent of Africa. We are confident the materials will be used for the right reasons,” he said.
He acknowledged the efforts of President Sirleaf who made an appeal to the government of SA so that the equipment could be made available to the NEC for a smooth conduct of the ensuing elections. “Let me also thank our President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for being very instrumental in ensuring that we have successful elections, he said, adding noting short of transparent, credible and fair elections will be carried out on Tuesday (tomorrow) October 10, 2017.