The Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) has written a formal communication to Liberia’s development partners drawing their attention to what it calls the unwarranted delay in the conduct of the civic and voter education ahead of the 2017 presidential and legislative elections. In October this year, FIND issued a statement calling on all stakeholders including Liberia’s development partners to provide technical and financial support to national civil society institutions to begin early civic and voter education.FIND’s call was based on previous election observation reports, particularly the Carter Center 2011 Election Monitoring Report, which among other things highlighted late and inadequate voter education as one of the key contributing factors to the huge number of invalid votes, election violence, low voter registration and turnout, discrepancy in election results, double and underage voter registrations, misuse of state resources, and the use of excessive force by state security during the elections. FIND, while acknowledging the pivotal role the international community has played in helping Liberians to maintain the peace, encouraged the international community including the country’s development partners to continue providing resources and technical support to bolster citizens’ awareness and participation in the pending 2017 elections as a turning point for Liberia’s postwar democratic dispensation.“Moreover, the voter registration process is considered one of the critical aspects of the elections. Though the National Elections Commission (NEC) had announced that it would commence the civic and voter education on the voter registration process early this month, the Commission is yet to kick off this crucial component of the electoral process,” according to FIND.Against this backdrop, FIND underscored the urgent need for an early intensive civic and voter education on the voter registration, stressing that this cannot be overemphasized.“To this end, we call on the international community, regional bodies and International NGOs to provide technical and financial support to local and national civil society organizations for the successful holding of the 2017 elections. If adequate assistance is given to the local and international organizations, we believe, the 2017 Elections would achieve its desired results.“More precisely, the electorates, on the contrary, would be fully informed about their rights and responsibilities, which overall results would translate into a successful, peaceful, orderly and transparent elections come 2017, paving way for a new democratic dispensation in our country,” FIND said.FIND expressed the hope that its communication would be given consideration for the advancement of peace and stability in the country. FIND is one of Liberia’s most vocal human rights and pro-democracy organizations, established in 2003 with headquarters in Gbarnga, Bong County. Among other things, FIND’s works focus on the promotion of human rights, good governance and peace building as well as the promotion of the rule of law through advocacy and awareness campaigns.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Los Angeles City Councilmen Tony Cardenas and Greig Smith couldn’t have picked a worse time to announce their plans for a property-tax hike to fund road repairs. On the very day the San Fernando Valley councilmen put their bond proposal forward, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was out selling his plan to raise garbage fees to pay for more cops. That made two proposed tax hikes in one day, both to fund services that L.A. residents thought they were already paying for. Coming together, these two plans will make the city’s voters less likely to support either one. Lost on no one in L.A. – except, apparently, the politicians – is that property- and sales-tax revenues have skyrocketed in recent years. So why does City Hall need new funds to fulfill its fundamental responsibilities: maintaining the streets and keeping them safe? The answer lies not in the taxpayers but in themselves. Clean up City Hall’s ethics, get a grip on employee salaries and benefits, eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs, and restore credibility to municipal government. Then we can talk.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe answer is simple: The reason we don’t have adequate roads today – or, for that matter, enough cops – is because city leaders have long preferred to shower taxpayer money on themselves, their friends, their supporters and public-employee unions. The mayor and council members now say they’re changing, and they’re shocked and dismayed to find out the city is in terrible shape: bad roads, communities controlled by gangs, homeless lining the sidewalks, poor schools, a 19th century trash policy and even elephants at the zoo living in squalor. Just one measure of the impact of neglect is the condition of the roads. At current funding levels, it would take until 2086 to fix L.A.’s crumbling streets and cavernous potholes – by which time, of course, they would be in terrible shape again. Cardenas and Smith have good intentions in wanting to fix the streets. But they come to taxpayers asking to help pay for their own lack of leadership, without having repaired City Hall first. Their money-grubbing raises an important question: If they need new taxes to pay for the basics, then what, exactly, are our taxes paying for now?