By: Marcus Zoleh
Members of various political parties in Liberia have concluded a one-day Inter-Party Dialogue forum in Monrovia.
At the one-day forum held yesterday on the Main Campus of the University of Liberia, members of political parties advanced several recommendations to the National Election Commission (NEC) to be included in its electoral guidelines.
But NEC said its job has limitation and only the National Legislature has the power to amend laws concerning elections in the country.
The political parties recommended that given the small population of Liberia (3.5), couple with the high level of illiteracy, there was need to reduced number of political parties.
They said that the political parties are increasing on the a daily basis not because there is a law that calls for multi party system, but said it was the way greedy politicians have seen to accomplish their personal objectives and recognition, failing to know that they are answerable the people they represent.
The participants at the political forum also stressed lack of programs through which political parties could make themselves independent and viable institutions in addressing issue of national concern, even if they are not the ruling party.
They also cited uncommitted politicians in the act of betraying the trust of their supporters by crossing over to other parties for greener pastures, especially after being elected on the party’s ticket for representation.
Giving his own findings on research conducted on political parties in Liberia, NEC Political Officer, Mr. Joseph Yarsiah, enumerated decentralization of political parties’ forum, lack of budgetary support, weakened structure, and unwillingness on the part of some party leaders to attach importance to the Inter-Party dialogue meeting as some of the challenges facing political parties in Liberia.
For his part, the West Africa Manager of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Mr. Theophilus Dowetin, urged the political parties in Liberia to engage each other constructively in the process of dialoging because, according to him, they all share almost the same ideology when it comes to addressing to issue regarding national concern.
NEC chairman James Framoyan thanked the participants for the mass turn out, adding that it is a beginning of decent polities in Liberia.