CDC Avoids Electoral Violence, Though their Campaign Banners Were Vandalized

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Chairman Koijee addresses newsmen in Monrovia

-Calls on the public to watch out for ‘troublemakers’

They might have been perceived as perpetrators of violence in both the 2005 and 2011 general and presidential elections, but partisans of the Coalition for Democratic (CDC), a tripartite collaboration, are this time around distancing themselves from such a perception by championing calls for a violence-free electoral process.

The CDC has even resolved to remain sober amidst disheartening occurrences where the coalition’s banners and posters are allegedly being torn down by opposition supporters. In spite of the “direct provocation” over the weekend, CDC chair of the revolutionary youth league, Jefferson Koijee, on Monday called for calm, telling many of its young supporters that the party does not need to go about retaliating.

“As the leader of the young people, I have come to let you know that we need to remain peaceful throughout. We should not heed to the provocation that is being perpetuated by our detractors. We need to avoid electoral violence throughout this process because this is not what our political institution stands for. Our political leader is a lover of peace and we must follow his example,” Koijee told his supporters.

He told reporters, who were surrounded by his supporters at the intersection of the Slip-Way Field, that the act of tearing down the party’s posters was perpetrated by the CDC’s opponents, who he said are losing a grip on the electoral process.

“We have come here to let the Liberian people and the international community know about what is going on here. We want to make them know what is happening to our banners and who are those that engage in violence during election time,” Koijee said. The alleged destroyed banner that raised the anger of the CDCians is located at the Slip-Way and Water Street intersection close to the Liberia National Police Zone #2 Depot-1.

CDC members, especially members of the Youth League, were furious upon discovering early Monday that one of their flagship campaign banners bearing the image of Senator George Weah was torn down by unknown persons. They complained that their banners are not protected, considering the proximity of the act to the police station.

Koijee (with red cap) talks with LNP officers from the nearby depot

“Is this not a concern of the police?” he asked. “I am very disappointed because no one is talking about the ugly act. This act was perpetrated right before public glare,” Koijee said.

The tearing down of the CDC banner comes amid a warning from the National Elections Commission to members of the public to stop defacing the campaign materials of political parties. Mr. Koijee said he sees it as a fuss intended to provoke the party’s supporters to anger. “We’ve being informed that our detractors, who are beginning to lose the election, are going from street to street tearing our banners, and I have come to warn you young people not to dance to the tune of their tactics,” Koijee said.
Though this is the first incident officially reported thus far by any political party since the start of campaigning on July 31, there have been allegations of tearing down of campaign materials by unknown individuals in and around Monrovia.

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