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WONGOSOL frowns on campaign violence

The Women Non-Governmental Organization Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) has frowned on recent wave of campaign violence across the country.

According to WONGOSOL Executive Director, Madam Esther S. Davis Yango, violence should not be the way forward in the democratic process of Liberia.

She stated that electoral violence poses fear in ordinary citizens, most especially women, preventing them from freely participating in electioneering processes, which is a violation of their human rights.

“Liberia is signatory to many international and regional frameworks as well as our national Constitution promotes peaceful elections and therefore, the government should uphold the rule of law by ensuring that this election is free of all forms of violence” she added.

Madam Yango said WONGOSOL’s attention has been drawn to incidents of electoral violence since the inception of the campaign exercise a week ago, which she noted, has the propensity to disrupt the fragile peace currently being enjoyed in the country.

She observed that during crisis, women and children are the most affected.

Madam Yango made the statement over the weekend after supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Unity Party (UP) clashed on Thursday, August 10, 2023, during a campaign tour of President George M. Weah in Electoral District#9 in Montserrado County.

She noted that on April 4th, 2023, political parties signed the Farmington River Declaration which clearly sets the framework for free, fair, transparent, and non-violent elections, which confirms and affirms a commitment by all political parties to uphold the rule of law.

She stressed that all political parties in Liberia, including the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change committed to an orderly and peaceful election. Therefore, they are being counted on to live up to their commitment and ensure that the pending elections are free of violence.

Madam Yango called on all Liberians to maintain the peace, most especially the youth, stating that they are the future leaders hence, they shouldn’t allow themselves to be influenced by politicians to engage in violence during these elections.

She also called on the ruling Coalition to put all necessary measures in place to prevent and avoid electoral violence at all levels.

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She reminded that the international community is watching Liberians conduct themselves during and after the elections, but what is unfolding now is worrisome therefore, all necessary actions need to be taken to curb the violence.

She emphasized that government, through the Ministry of Justice and the Joint Security, should be vigilant by doing everything possible to arrest the situation before it gets out of hand because Liberians had suffered violence over the years.

She wants developing partners and foreign missions in the country to intervene in putting a halt to acts of violence among rival supporters of political parties.

She said elections will come and go, therefore, Liberians should conduct themselves orderly as they campaign for candidates of their choice and keep clear of actions that seek to undermine the democratic process. Editing by Jonathan Browne   

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