Following Liberty Party’s (LP) complaint of irregularities in the October 10 presidential and legislative elections by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to the Supreme Court, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has applauded the party for the action.
The LP’s complaint led Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh to place a stay order on the NEC from conducting all activities leading to the holding of the November 7 runoff between the ruling Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of Senator George Weah.
The NCSCL is a consortium of national thematic clusters, networks, and organizations working in collaboration with the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND).
Frances R. Deign, NCSCL’s chairlady, told journalists on Wednesday that, “We commend the approach taken by the LP to respect the rule of law by challenging their grievances through the court.”
Madam Deign said that Liberians have grown through a period of political maturity, using the ballot as a choice for selecting their leaders and not by any violent means which is highly commendable. “Our dark days of history are behind us as a country, and what we must opt for is to welcome a growing democracy that promotes freedom of expression and respect for the rule of law,” she said.
She said that after the October 10 elections, her institution observed with keen attention “that other parties have taken to the air waves and social media using hate messages and threats.”
She believes that why it is true that freedom of expression is a human rights issue, it goes with responsibility, and therefore the misuse of freedom of expression can also abuse the rights of others.
Deign said the NCSLC is urging Liberians to remain calm and await the decision of the Supreme Court. “We admonish all aggrieved parties to respect the tenets of democracy by respecting the rule of law.
“We also call on all political parties to adhere to the Farmington River Declaration signed before the ECOWAS Heads of State, showing their commitment to peace for Liberia.”
The NCSCL opposes any threatening statement and the use of hate speech that have the propensity to derail the peace process, said Deign.
“We call on all our Nobel Peace Prize winners and peace ambassadors to stand for nothing less than peace and the court to expeditiously render judgment on the protest halting the elections process,” the NCSCL said in its resolution.
“We admonish the NEC to take corrective measures and rectify the challenges encountered during the October 10 elections so as to avoid future occurrences,” Deign said. “We encourage all Liberians to give peace a chance. Liberia must rise again. Peace is what we want and peace is what we are going to maintain.”