The two groups, the Liberia Civil Society Movement (LCSM) and the Association of Transparent Justice (ATJ), described the pending 2017 elections as “crucial” and observed that it is a litmus test for peaceful transition of power.
Speaking at a local entertainment center in Monrovia over the weekend, the two executives, George Kparquoi, and Randolph Kieh, underscored the significance of the 2017 general and Presidential elections, and noted that any attempt by the UP led Government to undermine the process could create chaos in the country.
The two groups said the money will help the NEC to conduct free and fair elections, and there is an urgent need for Government and its international partners to begin work to ensure the availability of the elections fund.
Both organizations argued that the accessibility of the USD$60 Million to NEC this year will further erase the negative perceptions that have been pervading in several quarters that the Ellen led administration may delay the process due to the serious shortfalls in the national budget.
The two CSO leaders further observed that while it is true that the low prices of Iron ore and rubber on the world market has negatively impacted the economy, the Liberian government has partners that are currently supporting the national budget.
The organizations admonished the Executive to begin working with the National Legislature and other stakeholders to raise the money for NEC to begin work immediately, noting, “Time is not far for the hosting of the elections”.
They also observed that in the absence of funds there will be political catastrophe amidst security threats looming over the nation in the wake of UNMIL drawdown in June this year.
Both men recognized the economic recession in the country but stressed the need for cohesiveness in fostering national development and democracy.
They said the CSO is willing at all times in the country to assist the national Government in providing a workable solution relating to the holding of national elections and providing expertise to accelerate the process.
The two men expressed the hope that the Liberian Government has the capacity and the ability to make the money accessible to NEC and also urged the international community to assist the country and make the 2017 elections a successful one.
Recently the National Elections said it needs over USD$60 million to conduct the 2017 general and Presidential elections in the country including the pending national referendum.
The Group also appealed to the United Nations and the United States Government to assist the Liberian Government by extending the mandate of UNMIL by another three years to allay fears that are harbored by politicians and ordinary Liberians.
People are expressing fears that after the drawdown of UNMIL in June this year, the country could erupt into anarchy and hoodlum groups in communities could spark off crisis in the country.