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 NEC conducts dialogue on electoral violence prevention with Political Parties, Women and Youth groups September 6th, 2019

NEC conducts dialogue on electoral violence prevention with Political Parties, Women  and  Youth groups

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia, with the support of UNDP and Partners namely: European Union, Irish Aid, the Governments of Canada and Sweden; has conducted a two-day dialogue on the prevention of electoral violence in Ganta, Nimba County.

The dialogue, which commenced on September 4th, 2019 at Jackie’s hotel, was officiated by the NEC Oversight Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs Hon. Boakai A. Dukuly.

In his address, Commissioner Dukuly called for “tolerance and peaceful engagement to allow everybody to participate freely” in the electoral processes. “People need to understand that whatever acts of violence they take, they will have consequences,” he said.

He thanked the UNDP and Partners for supporting the National Elections Commission in organising the workshop. He also thanked the members of Political Parties and Civil Society Organisations for accepting NEC’s invitation to take part in the workshop.

Present at the workshop was the Deputy Minister of Justice, Counsellor Nyanti Tuan. In his address, Cllr. Tuan called for a peaceful electoral process, as violence leads to the destruction of life and property. He urged workshop participants to spread the word on peaceful elections among their peers and families when they return home. “Peace is the answer, peace is the process, peace is the result ”, he said.

Another key speaker Atty. Nathan P. Garbie, the NEC Deputy Executive Director in charge of Programmes, stressed the need to address the issue of violence in the various phases of the electoral cycle.

“There is need to talk about violence; what it is, what causes it and what can be done about it”, he said. According to the Attorney, violence starts from the minds of individuals and therefore, the first steps in addressing it should target the individual’s mind.

The UNDP National Programme’s Officer, Mr. Roosevelt Zayzay also addressed participants. In his message, Mr. Zayzay informed participants that “UNDP has been supporting the Government and people of Liberia since 1977 to date”. He added that in 2010, UNDP and her Partners established the Elections Support Project which has, among other things, provided legal and institutional capacity building to the NEC through financial as well as technical support towards the conduct of credible elections and electoral administration for the country.

Mr. Zayzay added that since 2005, UNDP and her Partners have provided support towards the establishment of the Inter- Party Consultation Committee (IPCC), which is aimed at diffusing political tensions and minimising suspicions among political parties by promoting dialogue, intra-party and inter-party interventions to prevent electoral violence.

He informed participants that in September 2016, twenty two registered Political Parties discussed, reached consensus, drafted and signed the ‘Ganta resolution’ where they committed themselves to peaceful and non-violent 2017 elections. Mr. Zayzay then urged the workshop participants to commit to using dialogue to address electoral conflicts.

The workshop covered several presentations including: a presentation on “negotiation and mediation as mechanisms of address election violence”, which was conducted by the UNDP Elections Consultant Ms. Titi Pitso, a presentation on “Election violence in Liberia”, which was made by the NEC Deputy Director in charge of Field Coordination, Mr. Jappah Nah and a presentation on “Political Parties’ Code of Conduct”, which was made by NEC’s Director of Political Affairs, Mr. Ignatius B. Wisseh; among others.

The workshop was attended by various participants including: members of Political Parties, Women Organisations and Youth Groups. Other dignitaries present included: the City’s Mayor, Mr. Amos G. Suah and the NEC Magistrate Mr. Bledor J. Flomo.

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