The coalition includes the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Liberia Media Center (LMC), Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC) and the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP).
Addressing the launching pad for a periodic perception survey that highlights various elections related issues at a local hotel in Monrovia, Thomas Doe Nah of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) said the coalition anticipates the establishment of a national campaign finance monitoring center to track spending of political parties.
Doe Nah mentioned “we will set up a tracking system that monitors expenditures of political parties with a focus on vote buying and the basis for political donations”.
“Political parties funding must be checked because it may lead to chaos in the elections, we need to clearly understand the financial dealings that occurs within political parties”, Doe Nah indicated.
According to him, the voters perception survey reports intends to bring out the issues in the coming elections; and intended to help electorates participate in the elections based on issues and not individuals or political affiliation.
Formed by these leading national civil society organizations, the Coalition is geared towards responding to Liberia’s chronic elections challenges, focusing on deepening democracy and fostering informed citizens’ participation in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections through effective reporting, monitoring, advocacy, debate, and civic education The collaboration is working to ensure that the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections are credible and issues focused, to allow voters have a better appreciation of the electoral process.
The Coalition recognizes that for the 2017 national elections to fully contribute to entrenching democracy in Liberia, it must be determined as not only being free, fair, and transparent, but also issues driven, and gender inclusive.
Inherent to this task is a competent and vibrant media and civil society culture that is accessible and inclusive.
back again. I came basically to listen, to hear and to get your advice,” he told Foreign Minister Kamara.
The SRSG added that the country has come a long way since the 2005 elections in Liberia. According to him, he has travelled across the country to acquaint himself with the actual situation in those areas where he noticed that the country has made some significant progress.
The Deputy SRSG, who had worked in Liberia during the crisis era, stated, “The country has come a long way; it is fantastic to come back to a Liberia that is not at war with itself.”
“You have already started the development drive of the country. As I travelled all the way to Gbarnga, I remembered before how that road used to have many checkpoints and different territories all over the place. But now, not just the condition of the road that has changed, but there are fewer checkpoints in just one territorycalled Liberia, and that makes me feel good,” he stressed.
Deputy SRSG Hillo further said the government now has a huge responsibility to ensure that there is a smooth and peaceful transition of power in order to avoid any potential conflict that could create setback on the gains that the country has made over the last 13 years.
“Everywhere I go, I tell people that it is good to keep and sustain the peace. Peace is priceless. This thought is driven by the fact that I have just come from Syria where the war still persists. We will do all we can to keep and sustain the peace in Liberia, which is so priceless,” he assured.
Mr. Hillo said since he arrived in the country , he has been busy going through what he called learning curve, stressing there are many challenges, but many achievements have been made down the line.
He hailed the government for paving some of the major highways across Liberia including the Monrovia-Ganta highway.
He told the Minister that the role of UN in Liberia will be to consolidate the peace, after UNMIL leaves the country.
For her part, Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara thanked the DSRSG for travelling across the country since arriving back in Liberia; adding: “I think you chose the right approach to travel around Liberia and acquaint yourself with the current situation.”
She promised to work closely with him in designing a strategy that will enable the SRSG to play his role through partnership between Liberia and the UN.
The Minister praised efforts of UNMIL, noting that the UN has a wealth of experience in dealing with post-conflict nations. “Those experiences would be useful in the transitioning process of Liberia, especially after UNMIL departs from the country.”
Foreign Minister Kamara told Mr. Hillo that she was pleased to meet and work with him again. Both had worked many years together in the UN.
“It is good to have you here. I am pleased to meet and work with an old friend whom I had worked with before. As we work together, we have to do all we can to keep our relationship intact,” she stressed.
She stressed that while on its peacekeeping duties here, UNMIL has helped to develop the expertise of Liberians in order to prepare them to fill
in the gaps after it shall have departed Liberia.
She indicated that UNMIL’s departure is very critical to the transitioning process, noting the expectations of Liberians are very high and government needs to redouble its efforts in filling the gaps that would be created by that departure.
On the upcoming 2017 elections in the country, the Foreign Minister noted, “We are preparing for elections, which are a turning point in our national history. We need to tell the global community that we have reached a stage of maturity. We will do all we can to avoid violence in the upcoming elections as we approach another stage.”