Bong County Flag
Bong Citizens Want NEC Create More Awareness
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, January 4 ( LINA) - Citizens of Bong County have called on the National Elections Commission to intensify its civic voter education to enable Liberians properly understand the electoral processes ahead of the crucial 2017 elections.
Speaking at the launch of the Civic Voter Education Campaign on Voter Registration in Gbarnga recently, the citizens said the 2017 elections are very crucial as the country will be observing a smooth political transition for the first time in decades, noting that there was serious need for more education on the electoral process.
They attributed the low turnout of voters experienced in some places in the last elections to the lack of sufficient education on the processes and procedures leading to elections.
According to the citizens, NEC cannot meet its target of 2.5 million registered voters without more education for electorates across the country.
The citizens also want the National Elections Commission to put in place measures that will prevent election violence during and after the polls.
They recommended massive awareness of voters in local English and dialects with the assistance of community radios, brochures, flyers, stickers and drama, as well as door-to-door civic education by trained election workers and early distribution of election materials.
They also want the commission to thoroughly screen would-be election staff before recruitment to avoid conflict of interest.
The citizens are also recommending to the NEC to distribute copies of the 2014 Revised Elections Law among political parties and produce simple copies of the law for citizens to increase awareness of the law ahead of the election.
In a related development, the National Elections Commission has held discussions with stakeholders in Totota, Lower Bong County, on the revised election law of Liberia.
Participants and NEC officials who attended the meeting also discussed the 2017 elections timetable, gender and minority roles in elections and gender mainstreaming.
Speaking at the start of the one-day event recently, the Magistrate of the lower Bong County office of NEC, Barsee Kpaingbah, said the meeting has several phases involving representatives from all sectors of the country.
Kpaingbah stressed the need for citizens and stakeholders to play an active role in the upcoming legislative and presidential elections.
The event brought together heads of the Bong Chiefs and Elders Council, Traditional Council, students, journalists and ordinary citizens.
Kpaingbah said it was important for citizens and stakeholders to gather to discuss and come up with measures that will lead to the holding of peaceful and credible elections.
He said NEC recognizes the critical role of citizens and stakeholders in activities leading to elections, and encouraged participants to return to their various communities and teach others what they learned during the meeting.
The NEC official said by applying lessons learned from the meeting, participants will help others to understand the importance of the electoral process and its significance to the future of the nation.