.... What is the solution to the prevailing problem in order to prevent violence? The solution is for the people who love Liberia to continue to use their knowledge to raise awareness among the people so that the people can become motivated to take non-violent actions, within the Rule of Law, to transform the prevailing unfair electoral system into the enduring fair electoral system.
Thousands of observers of the October 10 election in Liberia have come from all parts of Liberia and other parts of the world to observe the Election. They want to observe the Election in the hope that it will be free, fair, transparent, and democratic in the midst of non-violence.
They observe the Election but they present no solution and the problem of unfair elections goes on. This is a bad observation because unfair elections lead to violence, which, at times, takes on the forms of coup d’etat and civil war. Both forms of violence have been experienced by the people of Liberia.
It is on account of this experience that the people of Liberia say: We Want Peace! No More War! It is due to this experience that the people of Liberia insist that Liberia is headed in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2020).
The wrong direction is poverty generation instead of the right direction of poverty alleviation. This experience has made the people of Liberia scared because poverty has become the pretext for violence. In the midst of this prevailing scare, National Legislators of Liberia continue to make the situation even more scary by having access to at least L$150k a day and their foreign partners have access to at least L$300 million a day while nearly the people of Liberia have access to at most less than L$300 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF, AfDB and UNDP).
When there is observation in the midst of unfairness and there is no solution, there is a don't care attitude on the part of the observers. At the end of elections, observers, especially foreign observers, usually conclude that the elections were “free, fair, transparent and democratic and the malpractices were not significant.”
It is highly likely that the observers will come out with the same conclusion about the October 10th Election. But they don’t care attitude will go on while thousands of people get injured and murdered, as happened in previous post-election violence in Liberia and elsewhere.
The observers are looking at the violations of the Constitution of Liberia and they are doing nothing to change the electoral system from unfair to fair. In effect, this is the same thing as promoting unfairness and violence. Witness the Farmington Declaration, with a stated commitment to the prevention of violence. But violence is already taking place ahead of the October Election.
Witness the pre-election violence of rock-throwing at anti-corruption marchers and the parading in the main streets of Monrovia of the mock coffin of an opposition leader. The Farmington Declaration was signed by 26 political parties of Liberia under the auspices of the United Nations, the African Union, and the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia. NEC is the supervisor of the elections in Liberia.
NEC continues to violate the Constitution of Liberia. Some of the NEC violations are as follows: 1) NEC allows non-Liberians to be candidates; 2) NEC allows foreigners to be NEC Commissioners); 3) NEC allows foreigners to vote; 4) NEC allows “voter trucking”; 5) NEC allows vote buying; 6) NEC allows the bribing of NEC staffers, and 7) NEC allows nepotism.
What is the solution to the prevailing problem in order to prevent violence? The solution is for the people who love Liberia to continue to use their knowledge to raise awareness among the people so that the people can become motivated to take non-violent actions, within the Rule of Law, to transform the prevailing unfair electoral system into the enduring fair electoral system. It is only through this transformation that persons with good records can get elected to bring in the system of Justice, the indispensable ingredient for Peace in Liberia and in any other country.
Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Daily Observer's editorial stance.