Home Editorial Using Ballot to Separate the ‘SHEEP’ from ‘GOATs’: Our Plea towards October Polls

Using Ballot to Separate the ‘SHEEP’ from ‘GOATs’: Our Plea towards October Polls

by newsmanager

Registration of eligible voters for the crucial Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia, scheduled for 10, October, 2023, is expected to go into motion today, 20, March, 2023.

According to the Timetable of the National Elections Commission (NEC), the exercise will be held from March 20 to April 9, 2023, in six counties including Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Montserrado.

From 21st, April, 2023 to 11, May, 2023, NEC said, the Voters’ Registration exercise would also be held in Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Maryland, Nimba, Rivercess, River Gee, and Sinoe Counties.

For us, at THE INDEPENDENT Newspaper, we simply want to use this time to encourage Liberians of voting age (18 years or above), across the country, to freely participate in the pending Voters Registration exercises as scheduled by the NEC.
But, in as much as we are encouraging eligible voters to register for the pending elections, we think the VR exercise should be done in line with key provisions of the Liberian Constitution which is the organic law of the land.

For instance, Article 80 (e) of the Liberian Constitution states that “Immediately following a National Census and before the next elections, the Elections Commission shall reapportion the constituencies in accordance with the new population figures so that every constituency shall have as close to the same population as possible; provided, however, that a constituency must be solely within a county.”

Article 80 (c) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia states that: “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to be registered in a constituency, and to vote in public elections only in the constituency where registered….”
To date, it remains unclear as to whether or not, these key constitutional requirements, among others have been addressed by the NEC.

Nevertheless, our call for eligible Liberians to participate in the VR process is occasioned by the importance of the citizens’ votes in any democratic nation, and how such votes can be used by eligible electorate to feely determine, at the polls, the legitimacy of any elected national leadership.

We say this simply because, without being officially registered by the National Elections Commission (NEC), and without equally being formally issued NEC’s approved voter’s card for the much-heralded and crucial October polls, no Liberian of voting age will, this year, have the opportunity to contribute via the ballot box the choosing of a new leadership for the Liberian Nation including President and Vice President as well as members of the country’s bicameral legislature.

Moreover, with the use of their individual voting cards, Liberian electorate are expected to, at the ballot box, evaluate and decide from among hundreds of competitors, people who, by their deeds, ideas, and other activities over the years, proved themselves worthy of ascending to elected public offices for national governance.

Indeed, the use of voting cards by electorate nationwide in determining the next leadership of the country remains paramount and the best option for the consolidation of our hard-won peace and democracy, as diametrically opposed to the application of unfair and high-handed, violence, and unlawful means for anyone or group to throw themselves into state power.

As in the words of United States Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Michael McCarthy, “violence of any kind has no place in a democratic society and that disagreements and compelling visions for a country should be solved through peaceful debates and at the ballot box, not on the street.”

To put it another way, Liberian electorate must, during the October polls, decisively separate the SHEEP from the GOATS, by snubbing or cold-shouldering, with the ‘Mighty Power’ of the voting cards, any contender, whether EVE or ADAM gender, who have been bathing themselves in acts of corruption over the years and grossly face dearth of moral rectitude, leadership acumen, integrity and credibility, to say the least.

Via the pending elections, Liberian electorate must not consciously or unconsciously stay away from critically scrutinizing people wanting to lead the country and for them to clearly state their individual and collective platforms, dreams and aspirations, and how implementation of such platforms can be actualized upon ascending to any elected public offices.

Anything less than this, we are afraid that Liberian electorate will have themselves to blame after the much-heralded October Presidential and Legislative elections.

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