Monrovia - The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) sees inflammatory comments by some Political party leaders and independent candidates partaking in the Senatorial election as violation of the New Election Law and fears that violence could erupt during the pending senatorial election. According to the ECC those political leaders involving in such act are in violation of section 10.22 of the New Election Law.
Section 10.22 of the New Election Law of 1986 states “It shall be an election offense for political parties, when having their political rallies and demonstrations, to abuse another political party or its leader by the use of profane language or slogan, tending to reflect on such party or its leader or a particular ethnic group or groups.”
NAYMOTE Executive Director and a member of the ECC Eddie Jarwolo said, the ECC is deeply concerned over the level of violence and inciting statements that have characterized the special senatorial election campaign.
The ECC is a coalition of civil society organization set to help ensure free, fair and credible elections in Liberia. The ECC provides nonpartisan assessments and report on any elections-related violence or conflict during the campaign periods. The organization Executive Director said, political leaders and the National Election Commission should conduct themselves in a way that will not lead to any election violence.
“We can make all the phone calls and do the education. The leadership of political parties and NEC need to behave in a manner that will protect our peace,” he said. Mr. Jarwolo fears election violence might erupt if caution is not taken adding that the way politicians speak on the media is worrisome.
“There is a fear of election violence. Election violence is so terrible, fast and destructive. I’m very afraid that there might be election violence, if you listen to the radio and hear political leaders,” Jarwolo said. The NEC has warned that politicians and political parties will be held responsible for any misconduct their supporters exhibit during campaign rallies.
“Heads of the campaign team will be held responsible for any misconduct. We should cast our votes and not intimidate other people,” Information Minister Lewis Brown told journalists Thursday at the ministry’s weekly press briefing. The organizations that make up the ECC have extensive experience of observing the 2005 general elections and subsequent by-elections, and have provided collectively national coverage throughout Liberia’s 15 counties.
The group’s primary objectives are to provide Liberian civil society with a strong, coherent voice, and to “promote free and transparent elections, and mitigate the propensity for conflict.