MONROVIA – Owing to the critical nature of the pending 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections to the nation’s peace and stability, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) is urging the Liberian government to provide the remaining amount of funding needed for the conduct of the elections.
In execution of Article 77(b) of the Liberian Constitution, eligible Liberian voters will go to the poll on October 10 to elect a President/Vice President, 73 Representatives and 15 Senators with the two former steering the affairs of the state for the next six years and the latter for nine years. In those elections, President Weah, standard bearer of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will contest against 18 opposition candidates for the presidency.
The ensuing 2023 elections are being squarely supported by the Government of Liberia (GoL), hence, NCSCL, which is the apex body of all CSOs in the country, in a statement pointed out that domestic financing of elections is a must and as such there should be no excuse for providing the full amount needed to ensure a free and peaceful conduct of all the remaining processes.
It can be recalled that the Chairperson of NEC, Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah, while appearing before the full plenary of the Liberian Senate recently, pleaded for the remaining US$3M plus.
Madam Brown-Lassanah, who disclosed that the government has provided a little over US$49M to the Commission for the conduct of the October 10, 2023 Elections, maintained that the remaining US$3M plus is needed to conduct possible run-off elections.
She pointed out that the amount so far disbursed by the government represents 80 percent of the US$53M budget requested.
“The Commission needs the balance of a little over three million dollars to conduct possible run-off elections,” said the NEC boss.
Accordingly, on account of the Commission’s latest disclosure, NCSCL is calling on the Liberian government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to do the needful by providing the remaining 20 percent so that the country would have a smooth electoral process.
As part of its roles and responsibilities to the Liberian society, the Council vowed to thoroughly observe the entire electoral process – pre and post-electoral activities including financing among others that have the propensity of undermining the credibility of the entire process if not provided.
“Domestic financing of elections is a must! No excuse! MFDP needs to transfer the remaining 3 million plus, which they have promised to do. We are observing the space,” stated the statement captured under the signature of Chairperson Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai.
“This is the first elections without the support of UNMIL and while the UN is providing electoral support, the Government of Liberia is primarily responsible for electoral financing,” it added.