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Statement on Disdain Absence of Women Aspirant in Primaries

The General Public, members of the Press, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) has observed with disdain absence of women candidates in primaries being held by political parties in flagrant disregard to ensuring that the 30% minimum standard of women candidates will be represented on party tickets. Candidate nomination will end on September 21 and, without meaningful efforts on the side of political parties, and from the NEC to enforce the legal guidelines, Liberia could face the situation of having no women in the next Senate.  

LEON views the lack of women represented in most party primaries to be a direct violation of section 4.5.c of the New Elections Law which mandates that ‘the list of candidates submitted by political parties to the National Elections Commission should endeavor to have no less than 30%  of the candidates on the list from each gender candidate’. LEON thinks it is critical for women,  who make up over half of Liberia’s population, to be fully represented in decision-making at the legislature in line with all the major international human rights instruments and protocols that  Liberia has signed and ratified1. Women’s representation is key to ensuring that our laws reflect the needs of all members of our society. As an elections observation body in Liberia, LEON believes the involvement of women in the formation of Liberia’s laws is the surest way to protect women and children against rape and other forms of sexual violence.

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