Twenty-two (22) political parties that recently took part in the National Elections Commission (NEC)-organized Inter-Party Consultative Committee have pledged to support free, fair and non-violent elections at the October polls.
The parties presented their resolution to the NEC, United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL), and other partners.
NEC chairman, Jerome Korkoya described the commitment as a remarkable development. He appealed to political party leaders to uphold peaceful elections.
He said women’s political participation is encouraging and urged them to preach peace in all their election activities across the country.
“Elections are not only fighting for political office, but to ensure that their conduct is free, fair and transparent,” Cllr. Korkoya said.
He assured representatives of the political parties and the international community that the NEC will remain ethical and transparent during the October elections.
Some of the parties that committed to peaceful elections included the Alternative National Congress, Coalition for Democratic Change, Movement for Progressive Change, All Liberian Coalition Party, National Patriotic Party, United People’s Party, Vision of Liberia Transformation, True Whig Party, Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, Alternative National Congress, All Liberian Party, Movement for Economic Empowerment, and the ruling Unity Party.
Meanwhile, African Union Representative Prosper Addo commended the political parties for their great work, and for coming up with a resolution that sets the basis to support free and fair elections.
He described the effort as instrumental, especially since it is meant to maintain the peace Liberians are enjoying.
“Peace is non-negotiable, and violence is not an option, so we must reconcile and work together to ensure that peace reigns, even before and after elections,” Mr. Addo said.
Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), told the representatives of the political parties that their commitment to dialogue must persevere.
He called on them to make use of the adequate space that is given them to continue on the path of peace. “We need transparent, free and fair elections, and everybody should raise the issue of peace.”
It may be recalled that from September 21-23, 2016, Liberian political parties met at an Inter-Party Consultative Committee meeting in Ganta, Nimba County and agreed on a strategy to ensure peaceful and credible elections in October.
At the end of the meeting, they issued a resolution to pursue a common goal with a strong commitment to ensuring inclusive, transparent and credible elections.
The Ganta Declaration was supported by the NEC and United Nations Development Program’s election project with funding from the European Union and Sweden in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems that receives financing from USAID.
At the end of the forum, a member of the opposition, ANC’s national vice chair for political affairs, Ulysses D. Barchue, expressed thanks and appreciation to the organizers.