By Lincoln G. Peters
The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa International Election Observation Mission (EISA-IEOM) has strongly condemned the electoral violence in Zor Zualay, Nimba County which led to over seven persons being injured.
In a statement dated Monday, 13 November 2023 under the signature of EISA-IEOM Executive Director Mr. Baidessou Soukolgue, the action was anti-democratic and unnecessary.
“EISA-IEOM strongly condemns the acts of violence that emerged in District 3 in Nimba County on November 10, 2023, resulting in injuries of more than five people due to the shooting,” EISA-IEOM said.
Mission also cited another incident in Grand Gedeh County involving supporters of the opposition Unity Party (UP) and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on the same day.
EISA-IEOM further stated that it is concerned about the minimal post-election peace messaging observable since the announcement of the results and called on Liberians to continue to show the restraint and calm demonstrated on 10 October.
Mr. Soukolgue noted that community-level mechanisms to encourage acceptance of results, community dispute resolution, and physical safety are crucial as the country holds the run-off election.
Soukolgue reminded Liberians that the gains made so far in consolidating peace and strengthening democracy have come at a significant cost.
The EISA-IEOM Executive Director said any post-election violence would be a major setback for the prosperity and democracy of Liberians.
He reiterated the recommendations made in all EISA-IEOM’s public reports and analyses, encouraging Liberian stakeholders to uphold peace and tolerance.
At the same time, the EISA-IEOM called on political parties to adhere to the Farmington agreement and lead by example and also educate their party supporters.
“We call on political parties to lead by example and also educate their party supporters on the importance of adhering to the Farmington River Declaration principles,” EISA-IEOM said.
The EISA IEOM has been in Liberia since January 2023, observing and reporting on all key electoral activities.
The USAID-funded organization seeks to enhance the integrity of the 2023 Liberian presidential and legislative elections through the deployment of an independent international Election Observer Mission (EOM).
The observers are to monitor, assess and report on all phases of the electoral process in accordance with international and regional benchmarks.
The IEOM is implemented in close coordination with the financial support of USAID/Liberia and will complement the efforts of other electoral stakeholders.