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US Embassy, UNDP pledge poll support

 

Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

THE United States (US) Embassy in Maseru has pledged support to the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) voter-education programme aimed at “improving public understanding of electoral processes in order to increase confidence in the process and the outcome.”

The undertaking, which has been made in light of the 28 February 2015 parliamentary elections, has the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a partner.

According to a statement issued by the Embassy on Friday, the programme entails a series of training activities “focused on voter education that are being jointly sponsored by the US Government and UNDP.”

The programme, the Embassy noted, would include training for polling officers, political party polling agents, observers from non-governmental organisations and journalists.

“The US Embassy in Maseru is committed to helping Lesotho hold a peaceful, credible election in February 2015.   Toward that end, we are partnering with the United Nations Development Program to support the Independent Electoral Commission’s voter-education efforts. The programme focuses on improving public understanding of the electoral process in order to increase confidence in the process and the outcome,” noted the Embassy.

“We believe an informed public will make informed decisions.  An informed electorate is essential in any successful democracy and is particularly important in Lesotho’s election on 28 February. The election provides an opportunity for the country to move beyond the political and security challenges of 2014 towards a secure, healthy, and prosperous future.”

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Lesotho Mathew T Harrington and the United Nations Resident Coordinator Karla Robin Hershey on Thursday visited a training-of-trainers workshop held for the IEC polling staff at Molengoane Lodge in Nazareth, under the programme.

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