By Lincoln G. Peters
The Liberia Democracy Watch (LDW) has demanded the Joint Security to immediately launch an investigation into the electoral violence in Nimba and other counties across the country.
LDW Executive Director Mr. Mustapha N. Kanneh released a comprehensive observation statement on Liberia’s presidential run-off election Thursday, 16 November 2023 with the caption “Thanks for voting Liberia, Let Peace and Democracy Flourish.”
Mr. Kanneh said it’s important that the Liberian Joint Security investigates, forwards, and prosecutes all those linked to electoral violence in those areas.
“The LDW observed the recurring disturbing trend of electoral violence leading to, during, and after the run-off election particularly in Nimba County, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, and Montserrado County respectively,” said Mr. Kanneh.
The LDW strongly condemned these violent incidents and all those involved and demand the joint-security to investigate these incidents and ensure the perpetrators who are found culpable face the full scale of the law” Mr. Kanneh urged.
The Liberian Democracy Watch (LDW) is a pro-democracy institution that cherishes peace, tolerance, freedom, and human rights and seeks to promote democracy and justice in Liberia.
According to him, the LDW is also woebegone by the alleged reportage of attempted rigging of the elections through the replacement of ballot papers/boxes with pre-mark ballot papers in certain quarters, ballot stuffing, and the wickedly motivated intention of hacking the National Elections Commission NEC electoral system by certain anti-democratic elements.
He urged the NEC to look into these matters thoroughly and make sure any unlawful, fraudulent, and undemocratic acts of such are addressed adequately and blocked totally to erase any potential feeling of mistrust or lack of confidence in the National Election Commission (NEC) official election result.
“The LDW is strongly cautioning … both political parties in the run-off election – CDC & UP and all of [their] alliances to desist/[refrain] from announcing election results and declaring themselves the winner of the just-ended run-off election ahead of the NEC.”
Mr. Kanneh warned that the NEC is the only body solely responsible for announcing official election results and declaring would be the winner of all of Liberia’s elections.
Meanwhile, the LDW boss has emphatically called on the NEC to speed up the announcement of the election results to avoid speculation, uncertainty, and violence.
He urged that the NEC speed up the process to avoid any other problem that the delay might cause.
“The LDW is imploring all and sundry to remain calm and peaceful as we await/follow the partial and final announcement of the run-off election results and urge all parties involved to respect the WILL OF THE PEOPLE as expressed on [the] 14th Day of November A.D. 2023.”
He urged that everyone allow peace and democracy to flourish in Mama Liberia, noting that any party or individual with disagreement or contentions against the election results is encouraged to seek legal recourse as enshrined within the Liberian Elections Law.
At the same time, the LDW also expressed thanks and appreciation to the Liberian populace, the National Elections Commission as well as local and international stakeholders for successfully conducting the 2023 presidential run-off election.
According to Mr. Kanneh, despite several challenges during the second round and the semblance of recurring issues from the first round observed by the LDW, Liberians turned and voted.