The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) warns that the pattern of violence and political intimidation in Liberia are early warning indicators of the potential for a violent campaign ahead of the 2020 senatorial election.
The ECC says in a press release that it is deeply concerned about the trend of violence that is taking place in the country prior to the official campaign period of October 8, 2020 for the Special Senatorial Election and Referendum.
According to the press statement, politically-driven violence runs counter to a fundamental principle of democracy: the exchange and competition of ideas.
The ECC notes that violence and political intolerance have no place in the current political dispensation here and run the risk of undermining the country’s fragile peace and democracy.
It calls on all political parties, their leaders, candidates, and supporters to demonstrate tolerance and refrain from acts of violence before, during and after the pending elections.
The ECC has also observed pre-campaigning activities related to the referendum with the proposed propositions erected on public facilities. It says this is a breach of the regulation governing the campaign period which starts on October 8, 2020.
The ECC calls on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to work with the relevant state institutions to enforce the election laws and regulations in order to engender public trust in the electoral process.
At the same time, the ECC commends the Board of Commissioners at the NEC for reducing the overall budget for the conduct of the 2020 Special Senatorial Election from 17.8 Million to 13.5 Million.
While the ECC welcomes this development against the background that funding from international development partners is unlikely, it also urges the NEC to inform the public on activities that were shortened which led to the reduction in the amount of US$4.3 Million and measures to be put in place to ensure that the outcome and integrity of the election are not compromised.
The release continues that with this reduction, the ECC calls on the government to give priority in the disbursement of needed financial resources to the NEC so that electoral activities are implemented in a timely manner that is effective and efficient.
The ECC admonishes all political parties and their supporters to adhere to the laws and regulations governing the conduct of elections in Liberia.–Press release