A Satisfactory Election Requires More Than Just Violence

Farmington, Margibi Co. – Liberia former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, the Unity Party’s standard bearer, spoke on behalf of the opposition political parties, as they all signed the Farmington River Declaration on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The Farmington River Declaration is a part of the peace process of Liberia 2023 presidential and legislative elections to be held in October this year. He said, since the beginning of President Weah’s leadership, the country has witnessed several by-elections that have been marred by violence.

He claims that on November 17, 2018, during the campaign launch, Colonia Kruah-Togba, the UP candidate in the by-elections to succeed then-Representative Saah Joseph in District 13, Montserrado County, was brutally attacked by men who he thought to be CDC supporters of Mr. Weah party.

Similar attacks were made against Talia Urey’s candidacy in the Montserrado County District by-election on August 17, 2019, as she sought to succeed Adolf Lawrence. It has become standard procedure not to look into electoral violence, which tainted the 2020 senatorial election in Gbarpolu County, the Unity Party Standard Bearer noted.

Amb. Boakai added that the perpetrators are freely roaming the streets and waiting to conduct other future acts of violence once the order is issued. No investigation was commissioned in any of these violent incidents.

We want to remind the NEC that the mere absence of violence is not the only requirement for satisfactory elections because there are other key components that, if not taken into account and implemented, will likely result in elections that are not free from violence. The government doesn’t care about electoral reform, and it’s important to note the judiciary’s role and obligation to swiftly and legally resolve electoral disputes in order to ensure the peaceful settlement of cases arising from elections.”

The former Vice President commented on the present BVR, stating that one of the problems that could lead to violence is a transparent biometric voter registration system. He claims that it has been noticed that issues with the registration include the printers frequently going out at the voter registration centers and a lack of credentials at some of the centers calls attention.

Amb. Boakai noted that there has been violence between those who support trucking and those who oppose it, as seen in Montserrado County District 10 and Grand Cape Mount County involving Idrisa Massarey, who is alleged to be transporting Sierra Leoneans.

The Standard Bearer for the Unity Party requested that the National Elections Commission take into account expanding the biometric voter registration process in the first six counties.

Source: Reports231

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