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GC Holds Stakeholders’ Forum on AGR Recommendations

The Governance Commission held a one day Stakeholders’ Forum on the “methodology for political parties’ debates” as prescribed by the Commission’s latest Annual Governance Report (AGR) on Liberia’s Electoral System released in June 2017.

The meeting took place at the Commission’s 9th street office on July 14, 2017 with executives from various universities, media and civil society organizations in attendance, actively participated in discussions around the debates methodology for effective implementation.

The purpose of this meeting was to acquaint the attendees of their roles in the implementation strategy of the AGR recommendations for the holding of peaceful historic elections in Liberia this October. The 2017 elections is historic because, this will be the first, since 1944, that the incumbent president will not participate in the presidential contest; UNMIL’s  withdrawal, and transitioning from one living elected president to another come Inauguration Day January 18, 2018.

Commissioner Othello Gongar noted that it is anticipated that civil society including the media and academicians should spearhead the political debates as they are non-partisans and can easily win the trust of candidates. He said these debates can also help promote citizenship.

 

The AGR has three major goals including strengthening the electoral system to ensure the successful holding of peaceful and credible elections; stimulate and deepen the public interests and discourse on elections; and identify issues for post-elections 2017 electoral reform.

The meeting also discussed challenges of Liberia’s electoral environment and pressure they pose on objective voting. Some of these challenges include high unemployment, Inflationary pressures, a state of persistent poverty, high illiteracy rate, poor state of educational system and road infrastructure among others. These are also noted in the AGR.

Those in attendance of the Stakeholders meeting included representatives from institutions of higher learning including Stella Maris, Kofi Annan Institute for Peace-Building, African Methodist Episcopal University, United Methodist University, Cuttington University, Tubman University, Ibrahim B.  Babangida Graduate School of International Studies, and media institutions - Renaissance Communications Inc., Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives as well as International partner – National Democratic Institute.

Meanwhile, a committee has been set up to draw up plans for the implementation of the various recommendations of the AGR (with emphasis on the way forward, establishing a term of reference, budget and framework for its (Committee and partners) operations.

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