Liberian Presidential Candidates Commit to Peaceful Elections; Sign Symbolic Peaceful Banner

By: Laymah Kollie

Liberia-August 2,2023: Several Presidential Candidates certified by the National Elections Commission for the October 10 Polls have signed a symbolic peace banner recommitting to a peaceful elections.

The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday August 2, 2023 at the Headquarters of the NEC in Sinkor.

During the ceremony, Presidential Candidates including George Weah, Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Hon. Tiawan Saye Gongloe and others reassured Liberians of a non violent elections. They reaffirmed their collective efforts to peace and stability during and after the October 10 2023 General Presidential and Representatives Elections.

They admonished the NEC to speedily address currently challenges that might post threat to the process of a free , fair, transparent and credible elections.

“As we approach the October 10 General Presidential Elections, let’s remember that the success of these elections is not solely resting with me or any single individual, it requires the full committed participation of all our citizens and the support of our friendly partners. Our collective interest in the well being of Liberia must always remain paramount even as we assume our individual political positions.” Presidential candidate George Mannah Weah stated.

In separate Remarks, one of the female presidential candidates and standard bearer of the African Liberation League Madam Sara Beysolow-Nyanti urged that the focus of everyone should be the peaceful conduct of the elections amid a fragile regional political crisis.
“This is not about the position but this is about the people, a people who will have the right to fulfill a people who want access to their rights and a people who have access to choose”, Madam Beysolow Nyanti added.

“Let us show peace by our actions and word then our followers will be peaceful too. We have to share non violence.” Tiawon Gongloe lamented.

Also, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) Dr. James K Barclay Jr. noted that a key concern is basically security and the peaceful nature of October polls will set the basis for peace in the region.

Further speaking, Unity Party Vice Presidential Candidate Jeremiah Koung re-echoed the UP’s concern of announcements results to be done by electoral districts to avoid contestations. “We believe that process will enable all of us to follow through because we know that at the electoral districts there are magistrates and the results are certified by the magistrates and posted on the wall after the voting process. When the process is peaceful we all are willing to congratulate the whosoever winner”.

Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission Chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah has disclosed that a total of two million four hundred seventy-one thousand, six hundred and seventeen (2,471,617) registered Liberian voters are expected to exercise their voting rights on Tuesday 10th October at the 2023 General Presidential and Representatives Elections in the Country.

NEC on August 2,2023 at its briefing with political Actors, National and International Partners revealed that of this number, one million two hundred thirty seven thousand two hundred fifty seven (1,237,257) are females and one million two hundred thirty four thousand three hundred and sixty (1,234,360) are males.

“Final figure of registered voters that will participate in the October 2023 general elections is two million four hundred seventy-one thousand, six hundred and seventeen 2,471617) . This number represent one million two hundred thirty seven thousand two hundred fifty seven (1, 237, 257) females and one million two hundred thirty four thousand three hundred and sixty (1,234, 360) males”

The National Elections Commission Chairperson also clarified that of the two million four hundred ninety eight thousand and ninety-four (2,498,94) preliminary results earlier released, there were twenty seven thousand one hundred ninety two (27,192) duplicates record with five hundred twenty nine (529) suspected underage registrants amounting to two million four hundred seventy one thousand one hundred eighty three (2,471,183) total registrants.

According to NEC, the twenty seven thousand one hundred ninety two (27,192) duplicates record were created by three thousand sixty hundred and thirty four persons that registered more than one.

“Let me clarify at this point that the 27,192 duplicate records were created by 3634 persons who registered more than one.”

Speaking on the just ended candidates nomination and registration exercise, madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah told the gathering that they received one thousand thirty aspirants (1,030) documents for registration, and of this number one hundred fifty nine (159) constituting 15% are females and eight hundred seventy one (871) constituting 85% are males. Of this amount, one hundred ninety nine (199) constituting 19% are independent candidates while Political Parties, coalitions and Alliances account for eight hundred thirty one or 81%.

Relative to NEC’s preparedness for the October Polls, Madam Lansanah noted that there are early negotiations for early deployment of materials in remote parts of Liberia . She mentioned that Civic Voter Education (CVE) has been launched and it will continue using other media platforms for education and awareness of Liberians partaking in the October polls.

“Concerning the preparation for this election, the National Elections Commission being cognizant of the few infrastructure challenges especially road connectivity have embark on early procurement of materials for early deployment. Additionally, the commission have began conversation with some institutions to assist with movement of sensitive and none sensitive election materials to the counties.

“While we strive to adopt to global phenomenon or technological advancement the process will be done instrumental especially within our infrastructure environment. In closing, the commission again thanks and assure political leaders as well as all Liberians, all stakeholders and electoral actors that the NEC remains committed in conducting the 10 October 2023 elections in a free, fair and credible manner as it as been a hallmark for this institution.
We consider this forum as a wonderful opportunity for positive engagement and we call on all of you leaders to play your role ensuring that electoral process progresses and concludes peacefully.”

NEC boss also stated that the Government of Liberia have provided majority of the money allocated for the conduct of the election. “With respect to funding to the elections, the government of Liberia have committed itself to fully financing the October 2023 elections and we believe it, to this end the commission has received most of the funds committed by government. We are working with the government to conclude the remaining financial commitment to the National Elections Commission”.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) briefing was hosted in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN) .

The briefing is a reaffirmation of the Board of Commissioners’ pledge and determination to apply all of the best practices to ensure a peaceful electoral process and further deepen the understanding of the aspirants about ongoing preparations for the election.
The event is a part of the Electoral Management Body’s ongoing dialogue with stakeholders to promote inclusive, credible, peaceful, and non-violent elections, as enshrined in the Farmington River Declaration recently signed by registered political parties and independent aspirants.

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