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LSA Appeals For Non-Violence General Election In Liberia

Updated: Oct 10

Souce; The Liberia National Election Commission

Liberians will go to the poll on Tuesday, 10th October to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections. The current President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is seeking a second six-year term, while several seats of the House of Representatives, and half of the Senate are up for grabs.

As the country's National Election Commission makes its final preparations to make available necessary resources and conditions for a free, fair, and transparent election, the Liberian Swedish Association, LSA is calling on political leaders and partisans to conduct themselves peacefully throughout the voting and electoral process.

President George Weah, elected in 2017 will be contesting against 19 other candidates during this election, including former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) and businessman Alexander Cummings of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP). The Election is said to be held between 46 political parties and 20 presidential candidates to compete for two million registered votes at 5,000 polling stations in 15 counties. Specifically, there are 15 seats in the Senate and 73 seats in the House of Representatives that are up for grabs on Tuesday but attention is mostly focused on the presidential poll.

As the election draws closer, there has been several reports of election-related violence and deliberate provocations amongst political partisans and their leader during campaigns. Instances of such were seen between supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the opposition Unity Party last month in Foya, Lofa County, which left at least two people dead and 20 others injured. There have also been outbreaks of electoral violence in Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, and Montserrado counties. The most recent incident was witnessed on Sunday, 8th October outside Monrovia in Montserrado County, around the Japan highway during the conclusion of political campaigns. According to FPA, the clash erupted at the St. Michael Junction and later escalated at Bardnersville Junction between supporters of the CDC and the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP). This incident left several persons injured and an individual believed to be a CDCian unmercifully beaten with sticks, and pelted with stones and blocks. However, the Daily Observer has reported that the victim of this brutal assault has miraculously survived and is fighting for his life at the Aspen Medical International Hospital in Sinkor, Monrovia, where he received medical attention and was stabilized. However, his condition remains critical. The UN has expressed concern about these recent reports of violence and is urging the national authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account.

In the midst of these outbreaks of violence, the LSA calls on all parties involved to restrain and renounce the use of provocative language and the dissemination of false and misinformation that promote political tensions, divisiveness, and violence, and that may risk the peace and progress that Liberians has demonstrated since 2005. The LSA would also like to join other well-meaning Liberians and both local and International organizations in calling on political leaders and electoral candidates to pursue disputes through peaceful means and dialogue and act in accordance with the law of Liberia.

To mitigate the acts of violence, the International Community has also called on all Liberians to safeguard the hard-earned peace and called on political leaders, the signatories of the Farmington River Declaration 2023 to abide by their commitment and promote the conditions for peaceful, transparent, and credible elections, prior to, during, and after elections.

This year's General Election will be the country’s fourth post-war presidential election and the first one without the presence of the United Nations mission, which provided security and support to the country’s elections Commission. In the absence of the United Nations mission, the Liberian Joint Security Force, comprising the Liberian National Police, Military, immigration, etc. will provide security and support to the elections Commission.

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