LNBA, NEC Partnership On Elections’ Matters Closes By Yassah J. Wright

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Programs making the closure of Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) 2023 electoral support project, it is a one- year initiative which came as result of a memorandum of understanding between the LNBA and the National Election Commission (NEC), and the execution of a low value grant agreement between the Bar and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to fund activities under the project. According to the President of the LNBA, Sylvester D. Rennie, the amount of one hundred fifty thousand united states dollars (USD$150, 000.00) was provided by the UNDP to enable the LNBA achieve the objective of the project.

Cllr. Rennie said the Bar collaboration with NEC Project is intended to enhance the legal capacities of LNBA lawyers and electoral stakeholders, as well as to support the NEC to be effective in the adjudication of elections cases and increase public knowledge of legal electoral processes, particularly working with relevant stakeholders. The LNBA President noted that the objective of the project was to initiate collaboration with NEC and relevant stakeholders to ensure a successful conduct of the 2023, Presidential and legislative elections. Cllr. Rennie stated that the LNBA collaboration with NEC Project is a legal, capacity strengthening and civic engagement project that was launched in Montserrado on September 19, 2023, and rolled out across the country in disaggregated fashion. He said the project consisted of both pre and post-election activities. The LNBA President stressed that the initial approach was to hold stakeholders and engagement dialogues, bringing together the targeted beneficiaries under different categories of electoral stakeholders. President Rennie revealed that the entire country was disaggregated into five regions which includes; Montserrado,as region one, Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties, as region two, Margibi, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties as region three, Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties as region four, and Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, Rivergee, Maryland, Grand Kru  Counties as region five. He said the utilized method was to bring the targeted population together with well tailored and selected topics with a clear mode of presentation done by legal experts selected from within the LNBA. Cllr. Rennie stated that the result of this unprecedented initiative with support from the UNDP, the entire country and the electoral management system experienced a massive increase in the knowledge of election stakeholders on the electoral process, laws and dispute resolution mechanisms. The LNBA President said the drastic reduction in complaints filed with the NEC by participants in the just ended election can be attributed to the impact of this project and the level of violence anticipated in the process also reduced as a result of take away messages from the project. Also Speaking, Civil Society Human Rights activist,  Adama Kiatamba Dempster appreciated the LNBA for working along with Civil Society Organization (CSO). Activist Dempster said they are following up promises that were made during the campaign period by politicians and to what extent the new government and the legislature that won can live up to their promises to the people of Liberia. The human rights activist stated that they are also following up on President Boakai in accordance and with human rights related matters and all civil society agenda to go through the six years. He revealed that democracy, political freedom, rule of law, economic equality, social justice and peace  are important for the country.

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