ECC flags CDC’s election violations
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has flagged the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) alleged flagrant violation of the regulation on the conduct of political parties and coalitions.
After the CDC petitioned incumbent President George Manneh Weah for his second term bid, the ECC said Monday, 6 February 2023 that the political rally organized by the ruling party on 4 February 2023 was a campaign activity.
“The rally was characterized by wearing T-Shirts and printing banners depicting the picture of the President when the official campaign period outlined in the election timeline has not started,” the ECC said.
Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has set the official campaign period for 5 August to 8 October 2023 for this year’s presidential and legislative elections.
The ECC, Liberia’s largest domestic election observation network, claimed that the CDC’s rally was a flagrant violation of Section 12 of the NEC’s Regulation on the conduct of political parties and coalitions.
“This violation undercuts the principle of a “level playing field” required for the conduct of a fair and credible election,” the statement added.
The ECC further observed that in the days leading to the rally, the CDC erected billboards that displayed the picture of the President in various parts of Monrovia.
It added that the NEC has failed to take any action in keeping with Section 12 of its Regulation.
But the ECC warns that the NEC’s failure to enforce its Regulation sets a dangerous precedent and undermines its neutrality as an independent Election Management Body (EMB).
In another development, the ECC said it is deeply concerned with the statement made by Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor describing most Election Magistrates as corrupt.
“The ECC calls on the Vice President to provide evidence to prove her assertion against the Magistrates,” it noted.
The ECC recalled that Vice President Howard-Taylor further stated that the Magistrates needed to be rotated or changed.
It however pointed out that the Vice President has no authority to call on the NEC to rotate or to change any Election Magistrate. It warned that the Vice President’s statement is an attempt to interfere in the operations of NEC and undermines its independence.
It, therefore, called on the NEC to resist any form of external control and influence from political parties or those holding public office.
“The pre-campaigning activity and attempt to influence the NEC are early warning indicators of challenges ahead of the October 2023 elections.”
Established in 2010, the ECC’s members include the Center for Democratic Governance (CDG); the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP); and the Center for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (CECPAP).
The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD); Naymote Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE-PADD); West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), and the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), are also members of the ECC.
The group works in partnership with Democracy International with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). https://thenewdawnliberia.com/running-for-unfinished-business/