MONROVIA: The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), has cautioned politicians and political parties to engage in their campaign activities with peace and nonviolence.
In a release, dated Saturday, August 5, 2023, and signed by its Chairperson, Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, the civil society group said, as the campaign activities have officially started, politicians should be reminded that there is a need to desist from engaging in acts that undermine the peace and tranquility of the state.
The release noted that the act of spewing hate messages against one another, inciting the youthful population to violence, and bullying women political candidates will do the country more harms than good.
The statement maintained that political actors should ensure that the rights of women who are participating in the electioneering process are guaranteed and respected.
NCSCL added that it will be bad if political parties and/or independent candidates incite their foot-soldiers to damage the campaign paraphernalia of other candidates, issue comments and/or statements that are denigrating and meant to cause commotion in the process, and engage in practices that tend to scare away women.
NCSCL: “The Council strongly called on all traditional leaders across Liberia not to indulge in the use of traditions as alibi to chase out women and non-society members from the campaign and electioneering processes.
The group added that doing so would amount to infringement of the laws, or an act which is punishable under Liberia’s jurisprudence.
It further indicated that there has to be a dichotomy between tradition and politics in a way that tradition is not used to bully others but to protect and defend the space for the free participation of all regardless of sex, gender, and ideas.
“Tradition must be used as strong supportive glue that ups the maximum feasible participation of everyone and does not mess up the game,” the release mentioned.
According to NCSCL, elections are not about hostility but a contestation of ideas over the handling of issues that matter to the electorate and the general welfare of the people and the country.
She said election is about expressing how best to deal with the problems that have almost perennially bedeviled the country and its people and not something that should be characterized by violent outbursts, dirty politics, and shrewd machinations orchestrated to outsmart those who sincerely play to the rules of the game.
Several persons are vying for the nation`s highest seat, and will be hoping that they can democratically remove incumbent President George Manneh Weah.
However, what many are concerned about is the maintenance of peace before and after the October 10, elections.
As announced by the country’s electoral body, the National Elections Commission (NEC), on Wednesday, August 2, 203, those cleared to challenge the incumbent Liberian leader at the polls include: Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party (UP); Alexander B. Cummings of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP); former Labor Minister and ex-President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP); and businessman and politician, Simeon Freeman of the Movement for Progress Change (MPC).
Others are former Minister of State without Portfolio, Dr. Clarence K. Moniba of the Liberia National Union (LNU); Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT); Mr. William Wiah Tuider of the Democratic National Allegiance (DNA); and businessman Sheikh A. Kouyateh of the Liberia First Movement (LFM), who contested for the Montserrado County Senatorial Seat in 2011 and 2017.
Former UN Diplomat Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti of the African Liberation League (ALL); Madam Bendu Alehma, an Independent Candidate; Robert Franz Morris, Executive Officer of Phoenix Services Construction Contracting Company, who is running as an Independent Candidate; Allen R. Brown, Jr. of the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP); Mr. Lusinee Kamara, Sr., of the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP); David GB Kiamu of the Democratic People’s Party of Liberia (DPPL).
The rest include: Alexander N. Kollie of the Reformers National Congress (RNC); Richard Saye Miller of the Liberians For Prosperity Party (LFP); Edward W. Appleton, Jr. of the Grassroots Development Movement (GDM); Yorfee Luther of Liberia Rebuilding Party (Rebuilders); and Mr. Joshua Tom Turner of the New Liberia Party (NLP).