By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberians have been warned to avoid violence before, during and after the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, but urged to pursue the peaceful path in seeking to address their concerns.
Liberians are due to go to the polls next year, with a crowded political field in which incumbent President George Manneh Weah will be battling the opposition for a second six-year term.
The main opposition bloc Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) which has over the years proven to be a formidable force has already disintegrated ahead of the elections.
The CPP’s fall can mainly be credited to its hierarchies’ failure to find a way in deciding who heads the opposition bloc’s presidential ticket for the elections next year.
Two of its constituent parties – the former ruling Unity Party (UP), and the All Liberian Party (ALP) have separately announced their withdrawals from the CPP.
And Liberty Party (LP), on the other hand, is split into two factions – one loyal to Alternative National Congress (ANC) leader Alexander B. Cummings and the other faction loyal to Senator Nyonblee Karnga – Lawrence, LP’s political leader.
Many have seen the fall of CPP, which has won many legislative elections ahead of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) as a betrayal of those who saw the opposition as an alternative.
Ahead of next year’s elections, there have been calls for Liberians to avoid the use of violence in resolving their disagreements, but to maintain the peace.
Last week, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Establishment Coordinator of the influential Liberian-based Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) for women’s empowerment, leadership development, international peace and security, urged Liberians to pursue the peaceful path to avoid violence before, during and after elections.
ABIC’s work as a part of the Women Situation Room Projects under the mandate of the African Union, working with women and youth groups across Africa.
ABIC launched a one-day peace tournament in Todee Statutory District and Bentol City in Montserrado County to remind and inspire Liberians to collectively protect the peace.
Cllr. Chesson-Wureh told the women and youth participants not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to disrupt the peace of the country.
“We are having outreach in Montserrado – engaging women and young people for them to understand that we are moving towards 2023, peace, reconciliation and unity are the hallmarks that we can all embrace to promote lasting development in the country,” she said.
“Moving forward, we want to caution our youth and women that they must not join into violence that will undermine the peace of the country,” she continued.
She further said that violence only benefits politicians because they are the ones who occupy political seats.
“It is important that we bring the message of non-electoral violence, that if you have anything to say, say it through the ballot box,” she added.
For her part, the Chairlady of Todee Statutory District, Madam Kou Dorkago lauded the Angie Brooks International Center for the engagement.
She said the peer-to-peer conversation has enlightened their minds to remain peaceful and not to allow politicians to use them for their selfish aims.
“Politicians only come to put our youth and young women together, give them money to cause trouble, but this time around the Angie Brooks came in with training for our women and youth,” said Madam Dorkago
“We urge our young people to be tolerant of one another so that come 2023, the elections will be peaceful in Todee District,” she said further.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-2023-a-turbulent-season/