EU and UNDP to provide electoral support to LiberiaSep 22, 2015
The European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia signed several agreements to support Liberia's Electoral Cycle from 2015 to 2017.
Under the tripartite arrangement, the EU will contribute 10 million Euro (approximately USD$11.4 million) and UNDP with USD$1 million to help strengthen the capacity of the National Elections Commission (NEC), improve voter registration, enhance women participation in the electoral processes, reinforce mechanisms for political parties and enhance security during elections.
The funds will also support actions to improve civic and voter education, strengthen the electoral legal framework and to engender successful conduct of elections.
At the signing ceremony, attended by Government officials and other stakeholders, the Co-chair of the Board of Commissioners of NEC, Sarah Toe said the Commission appreciated the support, particularly from the EU which has helped to make the Liberian elections processes in the past very successful.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh praised the NEC for increasingly improving election processes and demonstrating commitment to protecting the country’s fragile peace and democracy.
Minister Konneh indicated that had Liberia not had the 2014 Special Senatorial Election, the country could have been engulfed in a constitutional crisis that could have led to a call for an interim government.
“We still need more money to fund the 2017 presidential and legislative elections and the 2016 referendum", he noted.
UNDP Resident Representative Antonio Vigilante stressed that the Election Support Project will help to strengthen the credibility and capacity of NEC to ensure free, fair and democratic elections.
"Election is the foundation of democracy and democracy is the foundation for peace", he stated.
UNDP Representative indicated that EU and UNDP have a long partnership on elections policies and financing, and called on other partners to join this collaboration to support NEC in fulffiling its commitment to an efficient and effective election process.
Head of the European Union Delegation in Liberia, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann stated that the EU is a strong supporter of democratization around the world.
She noted that one of the essential elements of the partnership between Liberia and the EU is the promotion of democratic principles, together with the respect of human rights and the rule of law.
“Concretely, promotion of democratic principles is discussed in the regular political dialogue between Liberia and the EU and it is also part of the agreed support of the EU development cooperation in Liberia”, she stressed.
The EU also conducts electoral observation of national electoral processes in agreement with the countries' institutions, and financially supports ECOWAS and the African Union in their mandate to support and observe national electoral processes.
Ambassador Intelmann expressed hope that the project will help NEC, the judiciary, security forces, political parties and civil society to have free, fair and peaceful electoral processes in the coming years.
Baratashvili George, Acting Chief Technical Advisor, Elections Project, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel; +231/776109195
Augusta Pshorr, Communications Analyst, email@example.com Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425