“Refrain from Self-Declaration”, WANEP Urges Political Parties

By:Laymah Kollie & Lazota Bility

Monrovia: The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)is urging political parties and supporters to refrain from self-declaration amid the official results from the National Elections Commission (NEC).

WANEP Statement comes in the wake of plans by supporters of both Unity Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to hold pre victory rallies.

WANEP believe that this action is capable of undermining the letter, spirit and intent of the Farmington River Declaration.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday November 15,2023 at Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, an Eminent member of WANEP Election Situation Room (ESR), Mr. Matthew Giah called on politicians to maintain the peace in Liberia and avoid acts that would threaten democracy.

“Political parties and candidates should not undermine the letter, spirit and intent of the Farmington River Declaration by pronouncing results and declaring themselves winners. We implore political parties to encourage their supporters to be law-abiding and all Liberians to remain peaceful as they await the announcement of the official results by the NEC” Giah said.

WANEP through its Eminent Members further encouraged political parties to exhibit tolerance in the acceptance of elections results and admonished their supporters to maintain the fragile peace. “We urge political parties to demonstrate leadership and tolerance in the acceptance of the outcome of the November 14, 2023 presidential run-off election. We appeal to political parties to ensure that future elections are more focused on issues rather than personalities. Political parties are urged to build national cohesion and refrain from political rhetoric that deepens divisiveness in the country”
The Peacebuilding group however urged the NEC to be sensitive in her choices of citizens as she timeously release elections results.“ We urge the NEC to continue to be professional and sensitive to the choices of the citizens as they timeously release the results in line with the electoral law. NEC should institute the needed mechanism to enforce the campaign finance regulation embedded in the New Election Law. NEC should ensure timely deployment of election materials and polling staff at voting precincts well ahead of the opening of polls in future elections”

Moreover, WANEP encouraged the joint security to intensify its timely response to address rising concerns in these critical period.
“The Joint Security should intensify timely and effective response mechanisms to address security concerns during the electioneering process. NEC and the Judicial system should fast-track the hearing of election-related complaints”.

WANEP and other International Observers have since deployed long and short term observers across Liberia to monitor, track and report electoral violence matter.

Meanwhile, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) reopens its Election Situation Room (ESR) supported by the European Union and complemented by Swedish and Austria Development Agencies, which is an integral part of its Electoral Violence Monitoring, Analysis, and Mitigation (E-MAM) project. The ESR is designed to mitigate election violence in West Africa through National Early Warning Systems (NEWS) and complimented by the Insider Mediators represented by and through the National Election Response Group.

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in partnership with the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, the Peace Building Office (PBO), and complemented by the National Election Response Group (NERG) in Liberia, managed the Election Situation Room (ESR) for the 2023 Presidential Run-off Election in Liberia. The ESR was reopened and operational from November 13 – 15, 2023 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia.

The ESR’s focus is to observe threats to the peaceful conduct of the election and using good offices, provide strategic responses to prevent and mitigate election-related incidents. It is an integral part of the WANEP Electoral violence Monitoring, Analysis, and Mitigation (E-MAM) project, supported by the European Union and complemented by Swedish and Austria Development Agencies.

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