Liberian Elections Commission Chair Calls For Adequate Security Sector Funding For 2017 Polls

8dd1b15b07ee959fff716f219ff43fb5_XLNational Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Jerome Korkoya has called on government and partners to provide adequate funding for security management for the 2017 general and presidential elections.

“This will not only provide for the mere presence of security on the ground, but also respond to the integrity, neutral and impartial needs of the process,” he said at the opening of a two-day election security coordination workshop in Monrovia Wednesday.

Koorkoya noted that security is not cheap, adding that it is very important to make a predetermination of the cost associated with financing election security operation.

He said while the call is in the interest of the state, there is need for funds allocated for election security to be properly managed and accounted for as the lack of adequate funding for election security or its mismanagement thereof seriously undermines the security of the exercise.

Chairman Korkoya continued: “Poorly motivated security officers are prone to negative influences, especially wherein resources are not provided on time, also affecting the timeline of the process.”

In remarks, ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia, Babatunde Ajisomo, said it is important to underscore the issues of transparent and inclusive democratic governance as well as oversight empowerment of the security sector.

“With the nature of the system of government where the ruling party has an overwhelming control of all state apparatus, the public expects that the security sector should be transparent and accountable to the citizens and not to the regime,” he emphasized.

Ambassador Ajisomo also called for the proper management of available logistics and stressed the need for provision of basic welfare system for security sector personnel who would be involved in the electoral process.

He described as a huge challenge the security transition gap created by the drawdown of UNMIL coupled with the logistical and limited size of the police force which, he said, stands at about 6,000 currently and with a projection of 8,000.

In a related development, Ambassador Ajisomo has said the role of the media during the electioneering process should be neutral and objective and essentially focusing on informing and educating the public on party manifestos rather than taking sides and aggravating political violence.

“The media’s role should be guided by utmost responsibility to the country and not to the candidates or parties or tribal affiliations,” he stressed.

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About Cholo Brooks 16867 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.