-ANC Protests to National Elections Commission (NEC), International Observers and Missions
One of the major opposition parties in the upcoming elections, the Alternative National Congress (ANC), has officially lodged a complaint to the National Elections Commission (NEC) and all international observers and missions, accusing the ruling Unity Party (UP) of “suppressing opposition political parties of freely campaigning for the October 10 elections.”
The ANC also accused the UP of “exerting undue influence on the electoral process to deny other parties the right to freely associate and to get their messages out.”
ANC vice standard bearer Jeremiah Sulunteh and its national chairman Orishall Gould, in their complaint, accused the UP-led government of denying opposition political parties the right to use public facilities across the 15 counties. Such facilities include the largest and newly renovated Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, located in Paynesville City, which the UP is intending to use on Saturday, October 7 – the same day the ANC is expected to close its campaign rally at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS), in downtown Monrovia.
The ANC leaders told newsmen yesterday, October 3, that a month ago, the ANC and its standard bearer, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, in accordance with NEC regulations, decided to hold its closing campaign rally at the ATS on Saturday, October 7.
Unfortunately, the ANC said the UP has announced a rally slated for the same day, but according to NEC electoral rules, it is prohibited for two parties to hold rallies in the same town on the same day.
Five members of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) were present at the news conference yesterday.
“The ANC believes that this effort will create tension among partisans, which the UP is seeking to exploit for its own purpose. This comes after the UP had manipulated state media resources, denying access to the state-sponsored radio and TV station – ELBC, to other parties, and access to public spaces such as city halls across the country,” Amb. Sulunteh said.
“We are hereby protesting the suppression of legitimate political expression in Liberia, and call on all parties to honor the Code of Conduct, the Farmington River Declaration, and according to IPPC Agreement, Article 4.7, and the NEC guidelines.”
Meanwhile, ANC Chairman Gould said the parallel rally with the UP would encourage violence or has the inclination to violence, because partisans of both parties would either “overlap, crisscross or intersect each other,” which might spark violence.
He, however, said in spite of the ruling party’s suppression, the ANC would still attract thousands of supporters to the ATS for their “Rally for Change” concluding campaign program on Saturday, October 7, and is confident of victory on Tuesday, October 10. “If the UP has done well over the last 12 years, l don’t think they should still be struggling to campaign,” Gould added.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected to rule on the matter before October 5.