Ahead of the October 10 elections, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development has expressed deep concern by the growing wave of hate speech and political violence in Liberia.
These unfortunate developments, according to Naymote, pose distinct threats to the holding of peaceful, free, and credible elections in October.
“We would like to remind political leaders, parties, and national institutions about their obligations under the Constitution of Liberia and the commitments under the Farmington River Declaration of Peace, which was signed in April 2023,” Naymote declared.
According to Naymote, by signing the Farmington River Declaration of Peace, political leaders agreed to support and participate in violence-free, peaceful, transparent, and credible legislative and presidential elections on October 10, 2023.
The organization further said that they expect every single leader to live up to this commitment and refrain from inciting violence and mobilizing unemployed youth for political violence.
Naymote specifically calls on the government and the opposition to desist from making inflammatory statements and utterances against each other that could spill out of control and lead to violence. It is important that Liberian political actors take note of the importance of these impending elections and behave within the confines of established rules and regulations to avoid the process being derailed.
The organization believes that the forthcoming presidential and legislative elections represent an opportunity to consolidate the peace and democracy that Liberia has enjoyed for 20 years.
Naymote, therefore, calls on all Liberians, including political leaders and party activists, to eschew violence and rather engage in constructive policy debates and mobilize their supporters around transformative agendas to contest the elections. For instance, policy responses and proposals on fighting corruption, improving the economy, responding to the call for justice and human rights, addressing unemployment, violence against women, and decentralization.
Furthermore, Naymote calls on the diplomatic missions and partners that have contributed immensely towards peace in Liberia to speak against actions that will undermine the peace and security of the state and impose sanctions and visa restrictions on perpetrators of violence and individuals making hate speech towards the 2023 elections.
Finally, Naymote is calling on all Liberian civil society organizations and independent citizens' movements to deepen engagements with the citizens, sensitize them against electoral violence, and provide more civic and voter education as “we move closer to the campaign period and voting, as this is key to the democracy of Liberia.”