The leadership of Liberia’s Parliament, Judiciary and the United Nations Mission, UNMIL have restated their support to ensure credible, fair, participatory and peaceful October elections in the country.
They gave the pledge during separate meetings in Monrovia on Tuesday with visiting delegations of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) and the ECOWAS Commission.
Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Coordinator of UN operations in Liberia, assured that in spite of the transfer of security to Liberian authorities by the UN after 14 years of peacekeeping operations in Liberia, UNMIL will continue to support the country in whatever form possible and especially for the success of the October Elections.
“The UN and partners will do their best, but the Liberian Government must now step up and assume its responsibility,” he said, adding that the UN Mission, UNMIL would finally wind down in March 2018.
On their part, the Chief Justice of Liberia Francis Kporkpor Sr., and other Justices of the Supreme Court promised expeditious treatment of election-related cases, particularly the Code of Conduct of candidates, to ensure a level playing field and smooth electoral process.
The President Pro tempore of the Senate, Senator Armah Jallah, the House of Representatives Speaker Alex Tyler and Chair of the House Committee on Elections MP Gabriel Smith, all gave their commitment to ensure the quick passage of the pending national Budget and release of funds for the elections.
Prof Yakubu, President of the ECONEC governing board had conveyed to these institutions, some of the challenges raised by other stakeholders, particularly the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Liberia, noting that there could be no credible and peaceful elections without the strong support of the Judiciary and Parliament.
He pledged ECONEC assistance where possible and also to advocate to the UN and the development partners on the need to support the upcoming elections so as to consolidate democracy and good governance, not only in Liberia, which had endured a decade of civil war and the 2014 Ebola outbreak, but in West Africa and the continent as a whole.
The ECONEC team flew into Monrovia on Sunday on a Needs Assessment and Solidarity mission to Liberia after a similar mission to neighbouring Sierra Leone, which is holding its own elections in March 2018.
The missions are in line with the Network’s objectives to promote credible elections through experience shearing, peer review and gradual harmonisation of electoral administration across the 15 ECOWAS member states.