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The Governance Commission (GC) as part of its civic education forum on the electoral environment has ended its first forum on civic education.

The forum organized by the GC was under the theme: ‘education and healthcare delivery’ in support of a national discourse on the role of electorate, their expectations and challenges during elections at a local hotel in Monrovia.
Delivering a special statement, the acting chairperson of the commission, Elizabeth Sele Mulbah said the forum seeks to provide an opportunity where politicians, citizens and experts on electoral matters can provide information that ensures political education of citizens’ understanding of the difficulties the country faces during this transition.
Madam Mulbah further noted that the forum is the first of a series of forums expected to take place for three days and will bring together participants from national government, the private sector, the media, academic institutions and civil society organizations.
Topics under discussion for the three-day civic education forum on the electoral environment include education and healthcare delivery, sustainable economic development and growth, and agriculture and food security.
It is being recorded that Liberia’s campaign period has started and candidates are vying for the support of the electorate and campaign discourse is often dominated by what politicians promised to achieve while attempts to tarnish the reputation of political rivals are another salient elements.
This style is partly driven by the electorate’s expectations and candidates’ calculations of political gains. The acting GC’s chairperson disclosed that in popular political culture, democracy is often understood as a right and opportunity to demand certain deliverables from political leaders, rather than right to participate in making decisions and searching for solutions to collective challenges.
At the same time, political success of development is perceived to be a question of the moral integrity of leaders, rather than skillful maneuvering in a challenging political and economic environment characterized by constraints.
These factors, according to Madam Mulbah, create incentives for candidates to make unrealistic promises and undermine the reputation of political rivals.
She said the downside is that unrealistic promises are bound to produce disappointment later and feed mistrust of grassroots of political elites and the state.
This, the acting GC’s boss said the ‘citizens fora’ are meant to provide a forum where background information on the challenges Liberia faced are provided in an accessible form and policy options are discussed with the view to provide possible positive and negative effects.
The one-day forum has panelists for the issues at hand. They gave their expert views and how the issues in their minds can be mitigated.

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