Liberia: COVID-19 Election Monitoring Group Calls for Increased Security Presence in Liberia’s ‘Volatile’ Western region Ahead of Tuesday’s Polls
Monrovia – The COVID-19 Election Monitoring and Violence Prevention Situation Room (CEMViP-SR), otherwise known as the ‘Situation Room’ has called for increased security presence in violent prone areas of Liberia ahead of the December 8 senatorial elections and constitutional referendum.
The Situation Room’s call on the eve of the polls comes in the wake of arson attack on the convoy of the Collaborating Political Parties’ senatorial candidate, Simeon Taylor in Bambala, Porkpa District, Grand Cape Mount County on December 5, 2020.
Two of Mr. Taylor’s vehicles were set ablaze after a tussle ensued between rival political parties’ supporters.
In a statement read by Liberia’s Peace Ambassador and Chairman of the group of Eminent Persons of CEMViP, Dr. William R. Tolbert III, the election Monitoring group said while it lauded the Government of Liberia and the diplomatic community for their condemnations of the situation, the presence of security to quell unforeseen circumstances and situations will go a long way in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the electoral process.
“The Situation Room is particularly concerned about the volatile situation in Western Liberia, particularly Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Countise that has characterized election violence and created a state of insecurity among the citizenry and eligible voters. It calls on residents in those counties to avoid all acts that have the propensity to derail the process and the sanctity of the areas concerned,” the Situation Room said.
It continued: “The Situation Room is urging the Joint Security to increase their presence in the violent prone areas in the country as Liberians prepare to participate in tomorrow’s elections process.”
The group also expressed concern about reports of the alleged arrest of a man with at the headquarters of the Unity Party on December 6, 2020 during a campaign rally of CPP Montserrado County’s Senatorial candidate, Senator Darius Dillon.
The group also called on the Joint security to take seize of the situation and leave no stone unturned to prevent a recurrence not only at the headquarters of the opposition parties, but anywhere; especially during the electoral process.
On Voter Trucking, COVID-19
On voter trucking, which has marred the 2020 midterm election, the Situation Room called on all those involved in the acts to desist as they have the tendency to affect the process and create confusion.
The group also cautioned the populace to adhere to the health protocols by the Ministry of Health and partners during tomorrow’s elections. It also admonished them to be as peaceful and civil to ensure the entire process is conducted unhindered.
The Situation Room is a government-backed platform set up to monitor, track and report on critical issues relating to COVID-19 and the Special Senatorial Elections that have implications for violence.
It advances appropriated recommendations to relevant stakeholders in government and civil society for positive response action.
The platform, supervised by the peace Building Office, is funded by the Swedish Government through ZOA.
Also speaking at the press conference, the Executive Director of the Peace Building Office, Mr. Edward Mulbah lauded relevant authorities including the Government of Liberia and partners for implementing some of its recommendations proffered in past press statements.
He named the humanitarian response to the refugee situation in counties bordering the Ivory Coast and the inclusion of women in the electoral
activities as some of the progress made so far.
He thanked the Swedish Government, as well as the Liberian Government and other partners for the support.