October 6, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI) and Strengthening Electoral Accountability and Governance (SEAG), a civil society consortium working on elections and electoral related matters, have held a meeting with Legal Aid Board (LAB) and National Electoral Commission (NEC) respectively on mapping a way forward on electoral justice mechanism ahead of the 2018 general election.
The establishment of an electoral court and other key electoral issues were seriously discussed by the group.
Executive Director SDI, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, said partnering with other institutions on election matters was a welcoming idea and underscored the national benefit everyone stands to gain should they continue holding elections under such peaceful and credible atmosphere.
He however warned that in order to attain that success, international best practice and domestic laws on electoral justice must be duly followed, adding that key among the requirement was the establishment of an Electoral Court to particularly deal with election offences.
“I strongly recommend a round table dialogue comprising key institutions like NEC, LAB, the Judiciary and civil society organizations to better proffer solutions to problems surrounding electoral justice. This could bring out unimaginable gains in attaining continued peaceful, credible, free and fair elections,’’ he said.
The Director of LAB, madam Claire Hanciles applauded SDI and SEAG over the years in ensuring the establishment of credible, free, and fair elections. She called for better partnership with civil society organizations especially for the purpose of referral of cases of electoral offences.
She said a peaceful, credible, free and fair elections cannot be achieved outside institutional collaboration and thereby commends the ground breaking job of SDI and SEAG in working towards achieving electoral justice mechanisms.
‘We intend to conduct electoral justice sensitization drives which could better be achieved if civil society organizations like SDI and SEAG-SL join up to play a role as always,” she concluded.