Open Letter to Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

December 2, 2004

December 1, 2004

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Secretary General
Economic Community of West Africa States
Monrovia, Liberia

His Excellency

The following civil society organizations would like to welcome you to Monrovia and express our gratitude for taking up the time to intervene and assist the Liberian Government reach an agreement on the Electoral Reform Act.

We support the position of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) that the Act which was passed by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly poses serious difficulty to conduct free and fair elections come October 2005. Our support is based on the fact that the current Government can not find the resources require to underwrite the cost of a census and there is not sufficient time to conduct a National Census before October 2005.

We are also in support of the compromise agreement reached by the NTGL, the National Election Commission and the Leadership of the NTLA regarding the apportioning of the 64 seats in the House of Representatives. This compromise agreement is reflective of the prevailing circumstances in the country and accommodates political concerns related to representation in the Legislature. The agreement stipulates that each county would have two seats in the House of Representatives and the remaining 34 seats will be apportioned on the basis of the number of registered voters within a designated voting precinct. This arrangement contains elements of the republican form of government espoused by our Constitution and meets nominal acceptable standards of democracy.

Sir, the various organizations also wish to express their concern that special mechanisms/provisions for women involvement in the political process be central to the Electoral Reform Act, including the preambular statement in relations to women participation and the need to adopt a quota system that ensures 30% of electoral positions are apportioned to women.

We would therefore respectfully like to call on you to use your good offices and convince the National Transitional Legislative Assembly to accept the proposed NEC Legislation alongside the compromise agreement mentioned above and address the role of women in the October 2005 Elections.

Thanks for your usually kind cooperation.

For any further information please feel free to contact Ezekiel Pajibo at 231 6 534 604; Email:

List of Organizations
Center for Democratic Empowerment
Center for the Promotion of Democracy
Coalition for Democracy in Liberia
Concern Christian Community
Civil Society Movement of Liberia
Coalition for Political Parties Women
Center for Democracy and Elections
Foundation for International Dignity
Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy
International Foundation for Electoral System
International Republican Institute
Liberia Civil Society Organizations for the Consolidation of Democracy
Liberia Action Party
Liberia Democratic Institute
Liberia National Democracy Monitors
Liberia Productivity Agency
Liberia Women Initiative
National Youth Movement for Transparent Election
National Democratic Institute
New Deal Movement
UNMIL Gender Section
Women in Peacebuilding Network

For the organizations,

Ezekiel Pajibo
Center for Democratic Empowerment