Climaxing its peace awareness campaign ahead of Tuesday’s presidential and general elections, the NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development said it will hold “the biggest youth peace jamboree ever in the country.”
A NAYMOTE statement issued yesterday at a press conference in Monrovia said the Monday, October 9 event seeks “to entertain, educate, mobilize and appreciate the peaceful participation of youth voters during and after Election Day.”
The event, according to the statement, is expected to bring together 500 young voters from across Montserrado County, convening at the Liberia Broadcasting System Park in Paynesville City.
The jamboree is intended to increase young voters’ confidence in the electoral process and build the disposition for them to accept the results of the elections thereby heading off any form of electoral violence.
“Young people, especially first time voters, will participate in mock voting exercises, learn the polling steps, hold peaceful dialogues, and view electoral violence prevention video documentaries. They will also be entertained with live performances by Liberian artists and hold street talks to inspire and motivate Liberians to turn out and vote peacefully, the release said.
Citizens between the ages of 18 and 32 constitute 53 percent of the total registered voters. This means, the youth population, to a large extent, will be critical actors in deciding Liberia’s slate of elected officials, with the expectation that their participation and decisions will improve their status, should the elected officials fulfill their campaign promises.
Given the critical role that young people will play in deciding the outcome of these elections, candidates and political parties have taken note and have all declared commitments to create job opportunities for young people and improve their access to social services including health and education, in response to the mandates highlighted in the National Youth Manifesto.
NAYMOTE executive director Eddie Jarwolo stated, “As an institution, we are grateful to the government and international partners for financially supporting our electoral process, and the youth who turned out to register and encouraged others to do so. We congratulate the political parties for generally conducting themselves in a peaceful way during the campaign period. The time is now to turn out on October 10, to make our voices heard and elect those who will lead our country in sustaining the democracy and development process.”
Over the past eight months, NAYMOTE has played a key role in mobilizing voters, hosting debates, town hall meetings, canvassing, making phone calls, knocking on doors, organizing public events, training young political leaders and women candidates. These actions have contributed to a participatory, credible, free, fair and transparent electoral process, so far, said NAYMOTE.
The organization is admonishing authorities of the National Elections Commission to conduct an honest and impartial election, “because this is crucial to the sustenance of peace as it builds and maintains public confidence in the electoral process.”
Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, promotes citizens’ understanding of democratic processes and the long-term benefits of their participation in these processes. Established in 2001, the institution has been one of the leading grassroots organizations promoting democracy, peace building, human rights and civic engagement in the country.