ELECTORAL CONTESTANTS WORKSHOP IN LIBERIA

The National Elections Commission of Liberia in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with support from US Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted a 4 day Bridge course on Electoral Contestants in Liberia. The course was graced by political aspirants, Member of Parliament and representatives from National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Liberia. The course ran from Wednesday, 10 May to Saturday 14 May 2017 at the Palm Spring Resort. This training was organized to upscale the skills and competencies of political aspirants and expose them to international principles that govern electoral contestants around the world, with focus on Liberia. Participants at the training were engaged in group work, reading, discussions, independent reading assignments, group presentations and anecdotes. The workshop was structured to bring out the best in participants and that was seen amongst aspirants and sitting law makers.Training topics traverse through activities that referred to campaigning, contesting, designing campaign strategy, etc.Day one covered Bridge and its background, code of conduct, the electoral cycle, principle electoral rights, democracy and the right to contest. The facilitators used various learning styles as mentioned supra.Day two was situated with Party legal frameworks, understanding political parties, contest and contestants-Representation, Party registration, candidate nomination criteria and Quota for women candidates.Day three agenda revealed Candidate nomination phases, procedures and forms, Candidate nomination challenges, political campaigns and unfair campaigning. Day four, the last day, exposed participants to Code of conduct of Contestants, Vote buying & Voting Incentives and Complaints and offences. During the workshop, staff participated in ice breakers, energizers, and recapitulation, daily and final evaluation. At the end of the workshop, all 17 participants were certificated by IFES Chief of Party, Mr. Parvinder Singh who had, with his team, been an inspiration for the workshop. Participants expressed their appreciation to IFES and the National Elections Commission for the opportunity to participate in the knowledge sharing workshop.

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