In preparation for the presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, scheduled to take place in October 2017, approximately 2.1 million people have registered to vote in the period of 7 February to 14 March.
Approximately 48% of the registered voters are women. The high registration turnout, combined with the significant percentage of women registered, are encouraging and positive signs for the upcoming elections, declared Pa Lamin Beyai, UNDP Country Director in Liberia.
The interest of women to get registered highlights the need to break down the barriers that prevent women from participating actively in political processes and from having their say in the decision-making processes of their country.
UNDP, with support from the European Union (EU) and Sweden, has put efforts to support the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in delivering credible and peaceful elections.
Ahead of the voter registration exercise, UNDP has provided the NEC with 1,350 voter registration kits which include cameras to secure the voter registration process, as well as 9,000 manuals on voter registration procedures.
UNDP’s support also encompasses civic and voter education activities with a focus on women, which reached more than 700,000 people and the NEC endorsed a gender mainstreaming policy to ensure that political parties present 30% of women candidates on their lists.
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The project “Support to the 2015-2018 Liberia Elections Cycle” responds to the needs of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in terms of capacity-building in order to deliver transparent and credible elections.
This project is implemented by UNDP and is funded by a joint basket fund supported by the European Union (EU) and Sweden, in coordination with other United Nations agencies.
A total of nine outputs aim to increase NEC long term capacities by strengthening training tools and methods and assisting the NEC with the introduction of modern administration systems.
The project also provides support to the production of a new voter register in advance of general elections in October 2017, aims to increase the role of women in elections and political life, promotes civic education activities and strengthens NEC capacity to engage with stakeholders and resolve disputes in an effective and transparent manner.