The process to prepare for Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections started in February 2017 with a voter registration process that ran from February 1 – March 14, 2017 inclusive of a one week extension. The National Election Commission launched civic and voter education in February but it was clear that most rural communities across the country are yet to benefit from such engagement and information on their civic duties and responsibilities provided for under the constitution and the election laws and guidelines.
The credibility of the 2017 elections will be shaped largely by the pre- and post-elections governance processes. Citizens from the outset need to fully participate and be aware of the process and contents of the elections so as to create opportunity for them to legitimize the outcomes of the elections come October 2017, where electorates will go to vote for candidates of the choices. This is very important as it would enable achieving peaceful, inclusive, free, fair and transparent elections. The ACCORD’s Peacebuilding Unit following a consultation with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO), collaborated to conduct a training on Election Dispute Management from 19 – 21 April 2017 in Monrovia, Liberia.
The primary purpose of the training was to enhance the skills and knowledge of members of youth groups, particularly political parties’ youth wings on electoral process and elections disputes management strategies.
The outcomes of the training:
- The endorsement of the PBO Statement of Mutual Commitment by political parties, youth, civil society organisations, Government of Liberia and the United Nations; crafted to promote peaceful and inclusive elections in October.
- The group committed to establishing a network of political party youth wings and civil society organizations for the purpose of exchanging information and engaging jointly to resolve elections related disputes.
The Peacebuilding Unit was represented by Mr Kwezi Mngqibisa, Senior Interventionist Specialist, Ms Nontobeko Zondi, Programme Officer and Ms Zukiswa Ngcemu, Programme Administrator. The African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Government of Finland since 2007.