The Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 observed the 3rd Information Session on Amended Elections Law conducted by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The day-long event took place in Tubmanburg, Bomi County and it brought together participants from civil society organizations, political parties, the media and the local elections magisterial officers from Gbapolu, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties.
The ABIC was represented at the gathering by Mr. Michael Gebeh, Special Projects Director and Ms. Veda Simpson, Executive Assistant to the Establishment Coordinator. Both staff made valuable contributions to the deliberation especially as it relates of legal component that had to do with the gender dimension for candidates and the issue of residency for candidates and voters.
The Tubmanburg gathering, which took place at the administrative building in Tubmanburg was the fourth and final phase of the NEC Information Session. The first phase was held in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County where stakeholders from Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties were drilled into the amended elections law. The Second phase of the exercise was held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and brought together participants from Margibi, Rivercess, Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties, while Gbarnga was the host for the third phase of the Information Session that brought together participants from Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties.
The information sessions are aimed at explaining to electoral stakeholders, aspects of the Elections Law of Liberia amended by the National Legislature in 2014. The amended Elections Law among other things reduces voters registration documentation barriers, prevents voting malpractices, avoid voter’s confusion and increases the number of voters in larger precincts. It creates new requirements for political parties and independent candidates as well as addresses issues of withdrawal and death of candidates.
The law also creates new rules that enhance transparency and build citizen’s confidence concerning complaints, complaint determination, forms and decisions. It also takes into consideration Elections Campaign Expenses, specifically on the remittance of funds, registration fees of candidates, contributions and reporting of contributions and expenses and adds new significance to how the Commission publishes reports and ensures the enforcement of reporting of contributions and expenses.