Frances Johnson-Allison (formerly Johnson-Morris)

2008 Interview, Former Chairwoman
National Election Commission of Liberia
Focus Area(s): 
Elections
Critical Tasks: 
Election schedules
Recruitment
Training
Interviewers: 
Nealin Parker
Country of Reform: 
Liberia
Town/City: 
Monrovia
Country: 
Liberia
Date of Interview: 
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Abstract 
Frances Johnson-Morris describes her involvement in the 2005 Liberian general elections as the chairwoman of the National Election Commission (NEC).  She provides insight into the decision to overhaul and restructure the old Elections Commission and shares the challenges faced by the NEC in ensuring the credibility of the elections. Johnson-Morris details the problem of working in an election environment involving multiple international stakeholders. Describing the process of scheduling the elections, she also stresses the importance of establishing and adhering to a strict timeline. She further outlines how the credibility of the NEC was bolstered by its independence from the government and the transparency of the entire election process. Johnson-Morris goes on to describe the particular successes of the election, citing the overwhelming turnout of voters as an example.  She also discusses the recruitment of the election staff and comments on training, monitoring and payment strategies.  She further identifies the provision of adequate resources as crucial to the success of any election. She concludes by emphasizing the importance of election planning and the need for those involved in electoral decision making to ensure that both their character and actions remain above reproach. 
 
Full Transcript 
PDF icon Download PDF (479.3 KB)
Plain text icon Download TXT (36.21 KB)
Terms of Use
Full Interview: 
50 MB
Frances Johnson-Morris - Full Interview
Profile: 

At the time of this interview, Frances Johnson-Morris was Liberia's minister of commerce and industry, having taken office in 2007. She served as the chairwoman of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia during the 2005 elections.  A lawyer by profession, Johnson-Morris was appointed as minister of justice in 2006, simultaneously holding the office of attorney  general.  In 1997, she was also the chief justice of the Supreme Court.  She was the national director of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Liberia from 2004 to 2005.  She was also a resident circuit judge from 1989-1997. Johnson-Morris holds a degree in law from the Louis Arthur Grimmes School of Law, Monrovia, as well as a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Liberia, Monrovia.

Language: 
English
Nationality of Interviewee: 
Liberian
Yes
Frances Johnson-Allison (formerly Johnson-Morris)
D
13
Keywords 
Voter Registration
training
recruitment
election schedules
Donor Relations
dispute resolution
codes of conduct
districting