Campaign Violence Worries WONGOSOL

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The Women Non-Governmental Organization Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) has alarmed over recent reported wave of campaign violence across Liberia ahead of the October 10, 2023   presidential and legislative elections.

 WONGOSOL Executive Director, Esther S. Davis Yango, said violence should not be the way forward in the democratic process of Liberia.

She stated that election violence poses fear in the ordinary citizens, most especially women, something she noted, prevents them to freely participate during electioneering processes, which is a violation of their human rights.

“Liberia is signatory to many international and regional frameworks as well as our national Constitution promote peaceful elections and therefore, the government should uphold the rule of law by ensuring that this election is free of all forms of violence,” she indicated.

“Our attention is drawn to the incidents of electoral violence since the inception of the campaign process, which has the propensity to disrupt the fragile peace we currently enjoy,” Madam Yango also noted.

According to her, during crisis, women and children are the most affected.

The WONGOSOL head made the statement over the weekend as supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Unity Party (UP) clashed Thursday August 10, 2023 during a campaign tour of President George M. Weah in Electoral District #9 in Montserrado County.

She noted that on April 4, 2023, political parties signed the Farmington River Declaration which clearly sets the framework for free, fair, transparent and non-violent elections, which confirms and affirms a commitment by all political parties to uphold the rule of law.

According to her, all political parties in Liberia, including the ruling party committed to an orderly and peaceful election. Therefore, “we are counting on them to live up to their commitments and ensure that this election is free of all forms of violence,” she emphasized.

Madam Yango then called on all Liberians to maintain the peace, most especially the youth, stating that they are the future leaders, therefore they shouldn’t allow themselves to be influenced by politicians to carry on any forms of violence during this elections period.

She also called on the ruling party to put all necessary measures in place to prevent and avoid electoral violence at all levels.

According to her, the international community is watching Liberians to conduct themselves during and after the elections, but as she observed, what is unfolding now in recent time is worrisome therefore, all necessary actions need to be taken to curb  violence.

 

Madam Yango emphasized that the government through the Ministry of Justice as well as the joint security should be vigilant to do everything possible to arrest the situation before it gets out of hand, as Liberians have suffered violence at the higher level over the years in past elections.

She  urged  developing partners and the foreign missions heads in Liberia to intervene now and put to halt these ugly acts among supporters of political parties.

 Madam Yango stated that election will come and go, therefore all Liberians should conduct themselves orderly and distance themselves from any kind of actions that seeks to undermine the aims of Liberia’s democratic process.

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