NAYMOTE Hosts Peace Jamboree to Mitigate Electoral Violence
Paynesville – The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) has hosted a peace jamboree to mitigate electoral violence, under the theme: “Mobilizing the Youth to Mitigate Potential Electoral Violence”.
Report by Augustine T. Tweh – [email protected]
The program took place on Monday October 9, 2017 at the playground of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) in Paynesville.
Giving the overview of the program, a member of the Young Political School (YPLS), Luther B. Tarpeh said the jamboree was aimed at celebrating the peaceful accordance of Liberians during the intense campaign process, something he said was doubted by other people that Liberians could adhere to electoral processes.
“Today we convene here to celebrate our peaceful accordance with the way we conducted ourselves during the intense campaign period, something that other people doubted that we couldn’t do, but we built upon their criticisms and we proved to ourselves that indeed we are much more peaceful than they think we are,” he said.
He also said the peaceful conduct of campaign activities is something that every Liberians should celebrate and be proud of, declaring that jamboree was also intended to educate voters, especially young voters using mock voting exercises, polling steps, vote counting processes of results.
“We will be appreciating all the young people here for conducting yourselves in a peaceful manner, even though there were threats, there were attempts, there were other people who tried to instigate you to do the wrong things but you never letdown your country, you live up to the creed that Liberia is all you have.”
“In your disagreement, in your dissatisfaction, you still upheld the peace that today we enjoy, though the campaign period was intense,” Tarpeh noted.
Tarpeh further noted that program was also intended to mobilize the voting population, especially the young voters, to inspire them, educate them on their roles and responsibilities during the elections so as to avoid invalid votes and electoral violence.
“Today, we will be teaching you how to do your voting exercise, just in case you do not know the process, most especially the first time voters. We will be teaching you the steps involved in the voting process, if you don’t know how to mark the ballot,” he asserted.
Also speaking in an interview with FrontPage Africa, the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo said the jamboree was intended to educate voters on their roles and responsibilities to mitigate electoral violence after the intense and peaceful campaign activities in the country.
Jarwolo said the body politics and democracy of Liberia has grown to a very mature level, for the fact that Liberians conducted themselves in a very peaceful manner during the intense campaign activities, stressing that even though there were challenges, Liberians should be proud that they have made history by conducting a peaceful campaign.
“I think our elections and our politic in our democracy has grown a lot and we all can testify that the type of campaign that went on, and the crowd and everything that came up was very peaceful, in as much as there were small challenges or lapses, but we should be proud as Liberians that we have made history, that we have reached a level where people thought we couldn’t have reached,” he said.
He averred that it is time for the National Elections Commission (NEC) to play its role in mitigating electoral violence, acknowledging that electoral violence usually occurs during campaigning, voting and counting processes.
“Today we have done our part as Liberians and civil society organizations, the ball is now in the court of the NEC. The NEC plays a very important role because there are two areas where you really have election violence, during campaign and during the voting and counting processes.
“So we hope and call on the NEC to do everything possible; that the equipment will be working on time, that the set up process will not be delayed so that once and for all we can make this history, and our country will be a country that people will look at to say yes Liberia is ready to move forward,” NAYMOTE Executive Director said.
For his part, the Program Officer of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Chris O’Connor said NED was impressed by the positive role played by Liberians during the campaign process for electoral preparations.
“We wish you best of luck with the elections tomorrow; we know that you all will be going out to vote and that you will make a tremendous contribution to democracy going forward for a new government,” he said.