The National Elections Commission and Integrity Watch Liberia have formally signed a declaration of an agreement for the monitoring and observation of 2023 election campaign financing by political parties and candidates. The MOU on campaign funding was signed by Counselor Teplah Reeves, Co-Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, and Harold Aidoo, Executive Director of Integrity Watch, on behalf of their respective organizations.
Harold Aidoo, the executive director of Integrity Watch, stated shortly after the signing ceremony that the MOU will allow his organization to send monitors and observers to follow the source of funding for politicians on purpose to make sure that it does not violate the country’s electoral laws.
He claimed that the Integrity watch would be deploying what he called the “I will discuss it election” platform, which would set up desks at the National Elections Commission where all of the monitors who would be deployed would be monitoring the rules, allowing NEC to view the data in real-time. He clarified that media organizations wanting to monitor politicians’ compliance with NEC regulations will also regularly view the data.
“This will improve transparency in the way political parties and candidates generate and spend their money during this year’s presidential and legislative elections along the financial mechanism, this is necessary so that political parties and politicians will be in compliance with the NEC’s regulations. We know quite well what we going to do will eventually support NEC and also contribute to greater transparency on political parties and candidates’ campaign financing. This is going to be the very first time that a civil society organization such as ours IS partnering with NEC in undertaking such an important task and we hope that it will serve as a lesson where it helps improve the beyond the 2023 presidential and legislative election .”
The Integrity Watch was acknowledged for working with the commission to monitor campaign funding during the 2023 presidential and legislative elections by NEC Co-Chairperson Counselor Teplah Reeves. According to her, it takes great pleasure to see a civil society organization will working with NEC in keeping the feet of the political parties and candidates to the fire in adherence to the rule governing campaign financing.
She expressed hope that the Integrity Watch will abide by the MOU and made it clear that the commission will not be held liable for anything that arises from the report of the monitors.
The NEC co-chairperson voiced confidence in Integrity Watch’s ability to fulfill its obligation under the memorandum of understanding, despite the fact that doing so would violate NEC rules regarding campaign financing. Counselor Reeves also urged media organizations to join NEC in keeping track of the financing sources and campaign expenditures made by political parties and candidates.
The program, which was held at the NEC headquarters in Sinkor, was witnessed by the members of the board of commissioners of the electoral body, staff of the Integrity Watch, and the representatives of CSOs.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius