Monrovia - Recently, the National Elections Commission of Liberia warned political parties and individuals against early campaign activities ahead of the 2017 general and presidential elections.
NEC indicated in a statement that some political parties and individuals desiring to seek political offices during the forthcoming 2017 General Elections have been engaged in pre-campaign activities in violation of Chapter VI, Section 6 of the 2014 guidelines relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates. “The NEC has also observed that self-styled groups under names such as “Movements for..., Friends of...” and others in support of political parties, individuals and/or independent aspirants intending to contest the 2017 Elections are also engaged in activities that contravene the herein mentioned guidelines”, the NEC statement indicated. The Commission stated that it has not declared the start of political campaigning for the 2017 General Elections and warned those engaging in any of the following activities outside of the campaign period are strictly prohibited under Section 24.3 of the Guidelines-Political Rallies; Political Broadcasts, statement and political messages in print and electronic media; Use of Posters, Fliers, buntings, advertisement on Billboards, public and private buildings, light poles and the internet; T-shirts, caps and other promotional items; and Individual Promotional stickers on vehicles to desist. CDC fights back An official of one political party, the Congress for Democratic Change now says the warning by the commission is targeting the party. The Vice President for Operations of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Mr. Mulbah Morlu is accusing NEC of issuing early campaign warning after hearing about the CDC planned April 28, political rally. Morlu at a political rally during the weekend also accused the state Radio ELBC of running pre-campaign programs for Vice President Joseph Boakai over the past months with NEC saying nothing, alleging that the electoral body came up with the warning when it heard of the CDC planned April 28 program. Said Morlu: “The state Radio is running a promotional video on Joseph Boakai, the NEC remains silent until a few days ago when the mighty congress for Democratic Change decided that on the 28 of April senator George Weah will declare that he is running for President to respond to Petition from partisans”. The CDC official continued: “Someone from the commission says they are able to ban the CDC for doing what is right, we will say today clearly that we challenge the chairman of the NEC; he does not have the authority to ban the CDC for doing what is right. Boakai declared for President you didn’t comment, people gathered at the ATS to declare support for candidates you didn’t comment, but when Weah says he wants to declare his presidency you issue warning. Let me warn NEC that these elections are not for child play.” In recent days, political activities have increased in the country with several groups making political comments and organizing programs. Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine of the opposition Liberty party has been touring the South eastern region, holding gatherings and Vice President Joseph Boakai has also travelled to the South East on a tour. The newly established Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) travelled to many counties opening headquarters and establishing footholds.