Liberia’s premier democratic advancement and think tank institution, the Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is pleased to release its 3-year performance report on nine (9) members of the House of Representatives, from Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Rivergee Counties covering January 2018- January 2021. A combined total of 77 promises were tracked from 9 (nine) representatives, of which 23 promises were rated completed, 42 promises are ongoing, and 12 promises have not started or not rated due to the lack of available date to assess any action taken. These promises were tracked by the institution during the 2017 general and legislative elections.
Majority of the promises tracked focused on the provision of social services including support to education, health care, construction or rehabilitation of community roads, market buildings, handpumps, setting up district development committees, support to youth and women groups, and agriculture projects, etc. Truly, little was achieved in the area of lawmaking which is one of the cardinal functions of the lawmakers.
SUMMARY OF THE CAMPAIGN PROMISES PER ELECTED LAWMAKERS
In Bong County: Representative Moima Briggs Mensah, of electoral district # 6 made 13 campaign promises, of which five are rated completed, and eight promises are ongoing. Representative Robert F. Womba, of electoral district # 4, made 12 promises, five of which were completed, six promises are ongoing, one has not started, and one not rated. Representative Prince K. Moye of electoral district # 2 (now Senator), made 7 campaign promises, none completed, six are ongoing, and one not rated due to the lack of available information.
In Montserrado County: Representative Rustonlyn S. Dennis, of electoral district # 4 made 8 (eight) campaign promises, none completed and are all ongoing. Representative Richard N. Koon of electoral district # 11 made 10 promises, 2 completed and eight ongoing. Representative Samuel Enders, electoral district # 6 made five (5) campaign promises; none completed, and all five are ongoing.
In Nimba County: Representative Roger S. W. Y. Domah, of electoral district # 7 made 8 (eight) campaign promises; one completed, six ongoing and one not rated due to the lack of available information.
In Grand Gedeh County: Representative Zoe E. Pennue of electoral # 1 (now Senator) made seven (7) campaign promises; six promises were completed and one ongoing.
In Rivergee County: Representative Alexander Poure, electoral district # 1 made seven (7) campaign promises; six completed and one ongoing within six years in office.
Election promises made during the political campaign period forms the basis for a social contract between the voters and aspirants. This contract, wherein candidates promise to perform certain actions in return for the votes of citizens always needs to be respected and adhered to. The votes these representatives received place an obligation on them to deliver on those promises.
Political accountability is an essential element in ensuring that politicians are held to account for promises that they make during campaign period but also promises they make when elected.
The aim of this Legislative Accountability Project is to improve the performance of elected officials and strengthen political accountability thereby making citizens receive anticipated dividends from their votes.
This report tracks and documents campaign promises and to use the outcomes to stimulate public discourse to improve democratic governance. This discussion is part of ensuring that voters have a voice in reviewing the social contract keeping the attention of citizens fixed on the cycle of governance from election to end-of-tenure. The current ongoing citizens’ engagements lend credence to belief that the Liberian democracy is pointing in the direction more than ever before that Liberians desire seeing their elected officials fulfill their promises in an honest manner and decisively tackle challenges they encounter.
The previous norm where any lawmaker can breach the social contract and go with electioneering impunity exists no longer. For more information about the report please check the link for the full report on www.naymote.com. The project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy https://www.ned.org/