Recommendations For Future Elections

By Mafanta Kromah

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) over the weekend made several recommendations to the National Elections Commission (NEC), political parties and candidates, security, civil society organizations, the media, and stakeholders as well the international community and development partners.
Addressing the media, the former president of Kosovo of NDI,Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga recommended the NEC make available to the public data gathered on the gender data capturing sheet about respective rates of women and men’s participation as voters.
She requested that, for future elections, the NEC should eliminate impediments to civil society’s involvement in civil and voter education, conduct a review of 2017 voter registration process to improve the integrity of future voter register.
“The NEC needs to identify future entry point for greater transparency such as solicitation of an independent audit or procedures for the list to be publicized in full in a timely manner,” she stressed.
In furtherance, Mrs. Jahjaga suggested that political parties and candidates act against violence and encourage productive citizen engagement in politics, raise awareness of and express zero tolerance for violence against women in any electoral process and also toward female candidates.
She called for proactive measures throughout electoral cycle to recruit, train, and provide leadership opportunities for women to successfully meet the threshold of 30 person.
She acclaimed that political parties start to draw on experiences and lessons learned from the2017 election cycle to consult on, and advance recommendations for electoral reform.
“Political parties need to engage in proactive measures to strengthen consultative mechanism with the NEC such as the inter-party consultative committee and utilize information gathered on those individuals-especially youth and women who stood as candidates or volunteered as poll watchers to find opportunity to sustain their engagement with the party structures in the post-election period,” Jahjaga narrated.
At the same time, the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Ghana, Hanna Tetteh called on the security service to complete and make public results of investigations of any election-related incidents in a timely fashion to enhance public confidence and combat impunity.
She suggested they build on the successes of the decentralized, community-based policing approach used during the electoral period to consolidate security sector reform.
She called on the civil society to come together to compile lessons learned for reaching women, youth, rural and first time voters with an eye to conducting more effective, target civic and vote education campaign during future elections. Stressing that “Monitor political processes, including in the post-election period and with respect to electoral reforms.”
Mrs. Tetteh maintained that the media should only report verified information, clearly distinguish between articles written by journalists, editorials and materials that are produce by outside sources and publish for fees and discourage insightful language and dispel rumors.
She indicated that stakeholders engage in ongoing civil and voter education around issue related to election, legal dispute, and citizen engagement during all aspect of electoral cycle, including between elections.
In conclusion, she asked the international community and development partners to continue to stand I solidarity with the Liberian democratic process through support to democratic activists at all level of society and as well as sharing lessons learned and best practices for peaceful political transitions.