Home Governance US Defends NEC’s Credibility …Says Liberians Must Be proud Of The Commission

US Defends NEC’s Credibility …Says Liberians Must Be proud Of The Commission

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By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah

MONROVIA: For independently conducting the just-ended 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections transparently, the National Elections Commission (NEC), has gained admiration from the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia through its Chargé d’ Affaires, Madam Catherine Rodriguez.

The Commission is now a subject of recognition by the US government for handling the electoral process.

Rodriguez: “Our very special congratulations go to the NEC for independently organizing the elections under intense pressure and facing daunting challenges,” a statement from the US Embassy said.

According to the US Diplomat, NEC temporary staffers executed a noteworthy task traveling through rough terrains on deplorable roads to ensure voting materials were made available at all 2,080 Precincts comprising 5,890 polling places across the country.

“They spent long hours counting ballots, and calmly resolved sometimes heated disputes at tallying centers, patiently explaining the process to party representatives,” the US Diplomat accredited to Monrovia said.

Madam Rodriguez also highlighted the positive impact NEC’s regular engagement with the media on election related matters. According to her, this process helps to boost citizens’ confidence of transparency during the electoral process.

She said: “The daily press conferences held by the NEC Commissioners were a model of transparency. Commissioners provided timely election results to the public and forthrightly responded to questions from the media. They took quick action to address legitimate complaints about the integrity of the elections, ordering revote and recounts when necessary.”

The top U.S. Diplomat graded NEC’s conduct during the election as remarkable added that such unprecedented feat in Liberia’s democratic sojourn must generate commendations from all spectrums of the Liberian society.

According to Rodriguez, owing to the fact that the just-ended 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections were the first postwar elections which were singlehandedly conducted by Liberia without any financial support from the International Community speaks highly about Liberia’s progress in the promotion of a more credible, inclusive and accountable democracy. She also praised Liberians for participating in the process.

Rodriguez: “Liberians should be proud of themselves for peacefully turning out to vote. They should also be proud of the NEC for meeting the challenge and independently executing its mandate to administer an election process that accurately reflects the will of the people.”

The topnotch Diplomat then congratulated President-elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai for his deserve win at November 14, 2023 Presidential Runoff election while at the same time commending incumbent President George Manneh Weah for being gracious in allowing democracy prevailed despite the closeness of the election.

“We congratulate President-elect Joseph Boakai on his election. Additionally, we commend President George Weah for gracefully accepting the election results. We urge all Liberians to join President Weah and accept the results peacefully,” she noted.

Rodriguez pointed out that the outcome of the October 10 polls and the November 14 runoff have played a major factor in consolidating Liberia’s post-civil war democratic accomplishment.

According to her, conduct of the two main contenders and Liberians in general has solidified Liberia’s position as the oldest democracy on the Continent as was observed my international elections observers

“Reports by independent international and domestic observers deployed across nearly every polling place in the country attest to the success of the elections. They have all praised the overall transparency and credibility of the election process”.

Catherine Rodriguez is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. She arrived in Liberia on August 4, 2023, as Deputy Chief of Mission and assumes the role of Charge d’ Affaires on August 11, 2023.

Prior to her arrival in Liberia, she was the Deputy Executive Director for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) and served as interim Deputy Assistance Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) and SCA. She previously served as the Consul General in Lahore in Pakistan.

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