-To Make It More Time Bound And Quantify Them
The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) wants elected officials or lawmakers to revise some of their campaign promises to make it more time bound and quantify them to make it easy to track.
NAYMOTE along with its Partners for Democratic Development, Liberia’s prime democratic advancement institution recently released its first Legislative Accountability Project (LAP) report Jan 2018-Jan 2019.
The report presents the collective findings of 97 campaign promises tracked, documented and rated by NAYMOTE against progress made by 12 elected members (10 males and 2 females) including three incumbents and nine new members of the House of Representatives of the 54th National Legislature from five counties.
The LAP is an independent monitoring and tracking tool that enables civil society actors and voters to evaluate the implementation of campaign promises made by elected lawmakers.
Following the release of the report, NAYMOTE recommended that elected officials or lawmakers campaign promises must be time bound.
“Public education needed to help citizens to understand the workings of their lawmakers and lawmakers should be more accessible, responsive and accountable to the needs of their constituents.
“There is a need for distinction between the County Development Funds projects and lawmakers self-supported projects to ensure accountability and transparency for public funds. Financial support needed to expand the project to every electoral districts to track promises of all elected lawmakers,” NAYMOTE said in a report.
NAYMOTE said of the 97 campaign promises tracked and rated, 10 were rated as completed, 66 promises are ongoing, 9 not started, and 12 not rated due to the lack of information to easily verify whether an action has been taken on a promise.
Of the 10 completed promises, community development projects, including the establishment of the clan offices, community roads, bridges, and the construction of town halls, accounted for 6 of those completed projects, while the formation of district development council accounted for 3 of those promises completed and the construction of one health center accounted for 1 of the many promises.
27 of the promises ongoing focused on health and education, with education accounting for 15 of those ongoing promises and health care provision accounting for 12 of those ongoing promises.
In Bong County: Representative Moima Briggs Mensah, of electoral district # 6, made 12 campaign promises, of which 4 are rated completed, 6 are ongoing, and 2 not started. Representative Robert F. Womba, of electoral district # 4, made 11 campaign promises, none of which were completed, 7 ongoing, 3 not started, and 1 not rated. Representative Prince K. Moye, of electoral district # 2, made 7 campaign promises, none completed, 5 ongoing, and 2 not rated.
In Montserrado County: Representative Rustonlyn S. Dennis, of electoral district # 4, made 8 promises, none completed, 8 ongoing. Representative Richard N. Koon of electoral # 11 made 9 promises, 1 completed, 7 ongoing, and 1 not started. Representative Dixon W. Seboe of electoral district # 16 made 8 promises, 1 completed, 5 ongoing, and 2 not rated. Representative Samuel Enders, electoral district # 6 made 4 campaign promises, none completed, 2 ongoing, and 2 not rated.
In Nimba County: Representative Larry Younquoi, of electoral district # 8, made 7 campaign promises, 1 completed, and 6 ongoing. Representative Dorwhohn Twain Gleekia, of electoral district # 6, made 9 promises none completed, 5 ongoing, 2 not started, and 2 not rated. Representative Roger S. W. Y. Domah, of electoral district # 7, made 8 campaign promises, none completed, 5 ongoing, and 2 not rated.
In Grand Gedeh County: Representative Zoe E. Pennue, of electoral # 1, made 7 campaign promises, 2 completed, and 5 ongoing. In Rivergee County: Representative Alexander Poure, electoral district # 1, made 7 campaign promises, none completed, 5 ongoing, 1 not started, and 1 not rated.
A review of 73 lawmakers’ campaign promises highlighted the following: 54 of these lawmakers mentioned scholarships and improving education within their respective districts as part of their campaign promises, 35 mentioned the provision of quality healthcare in their respective districts as part of their campaign promises, and 7 lawmakers mentioned lawmaking or introducing legislations as part of their campaign promises.
The institution tracked and rated these promises over a period of the one year based on four scales as highlighted below:
Completed: This is when a promise has been tracked and confirmed to be achieved.
Ongoing: This is when action is taken toward achieving a promise, but has not been achieved.
Not rated: Information is not easily accessible to verify whether an action has been taken.
Not started: This is when no concrete action has taken place in response to a given promise.
NAYMOTE Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo believe that the Legislative Accountability Project is a necessary platform to promote democratic accountability, make elected lawmakers more accountable, accessible and responsive to their constituents thereby building citizens trust in elections and democratic processes. He hopes this report will be taken in good faith and more actions will be taken to deliver on ongoing promises within the second year of service. He calls on citizens to hold their elected officials accountable to deliver on the campaign promises made during the election.
Campaign promises were documented during the 2017 legislative election by the Institute for Research and Democratic Development and verified by NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development, two of Liberia’s leading democratic advancement and good governance institutions. TNR