The National Elections Commission (NEC) has conducted a two-day dialogue among political parties and coalitions to review their Code of Conduct ahead of the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections (SSE).
The exercise was supported by the UNDP Elections Project with funding from the European Union, Sweden, Ireland, and Canada. It is a follow-up to the earlier inter-party dialogue held in Ganta, Nimba County amongst representatives from political parties, civil society organizations and women groups.
This dialogue referred to as the ‘Farmington River Declaration’ aimed at seeking ways to avoid election-violence and maintain peace and stability. Fifty (50) representatives from 26 registered political parties, including 14 women participated.
In opening remarks, NEC Commissioner Boakai A. Dukuly emphasized the importance of women’s participation in these dialogues and encouraged the parties to ensure 50% participation from each gender.
At the same time, the UNDP Election Project Chief Technical Adviser Ms. Lenka Homolkova stressed the necessity also to target violence against women in elections (VAWIE), which is amongst critical deterrents of women’s political participation. She applauded NEC for a recently held validation workshop on the VAWIE Protocol and hoped to see that the concept is taken on-board by political parties.
Also making comments, the Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Mr. Artan Alijaj, emphasized the partnerships between the NEC, UNDP, and NDI in strengthening political parties and underlined the importance of the Code of Conduct as a moral standard that goes beyond the law.
Speaking on behalf of the parties, the Chairman of the All Liberian Party (ALP) welcomed the opportunity to take a second look at the Code of Conduct. The former Gbarpolu County Senator Theodore Momo said the parties would fully abide by what will be accepted at the close of the two-day workshop.
The regional consultations are intended to ensure the involvement of the party-representatives in rural areas. The series of consultations will result in a revised Code of Conduct agreed by all political parties.