George Wah Williams
Executive Director, Liberia Democracy Watch
Keywords: election management body, codes of conduct
Interviewer(s): Nealin Parker
Country of Reform: Liberia
Location: Monrovia, Liberia
Date: Thu Aug 21 2008
George Williams, former officer of the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Monrovia describes his experiences during the 2005 Liberian elections. The institute worked extensively with political parties in the country, playing a role in the establishment of an Inter-Party Consultative Committee (IPCC) and a party code of conduct. Williams describes political parties in the country as fragile and requiring significant reform. During the 2005 elections, Liberian political parties were centered on individuals rather than on ideological or political preferences. As such, they tended to be transient rather than stable and lasting institutions. Williams recommends that parties should emphasize capacity building and that the National Elections Commission of the country, which he says was moderately successful in regulating the 2005 elections, should increase its level of regulation in subsequent elections. He goes on to discuss the potential merits of publicly financed campaigns, which would be possible only if parties were better regulated and their number reduced.
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George Williams Interview
At the time of this interview, George Williams was the Executive Director of Liberia Democracy Watch. In his capacity with Liberia Democracy Watch, Williams served as an international elections observer with the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) in Ghana in 2008 and with The Carter Center in Sudan in 2010. During the 2005 elections, George Williams was a Program Officer for the International Republican Institute in Monrovia, Liberia. Williams, who comes from a family active in politics, studied economics at the University of Liberia.