Liberia: Collaborating Political Parties Suspends Planned Oct. 28 Nationwide Protest
Monrovia – The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) has called off its October 8 protest which was intended to mount pressure on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to clean up the 2017 voter roll.
The CPP’s decision was based on Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh’s decision not to grant the CPP a Writ of Mandamus sought by them to compel the NEC to clean up the Voter Roll. They also called for the cancellation of the voter roll update conducted last month by the NEC.
However, according to the CPP, their decision to call of the protest is based on the following reasons:
Pending Supreme Court Ruling- The Supreme Court agreed to hear our cases filed and issued a stay order on the process pending the outcome of the hearing. The matter was heard last week and the Supreme Court ruling is expected to be announced shortly.
Pending NEC Decision on Validity of Voter Roll Update- The formal ruling from the NEC on the validity of the just ended voter roll is pending, after a hearing by the NEC. The decision of the NEC may be subject to appeal, thus creating the need to exhaust all local and regional legal remedies.
Arrival of ECOWAS Technical Team- Last week, ECOWAS technical team arrived in the country to work with the National Elections Commission to assist with the cleaning of the Voter Roll. According to ECOWAS, the President had requested technical assistance for the cleaning of the Voter Roll.
Ongoing Consultations with Inter-Religious Council- On Friday, October 23, 2020, the Inter-Religious Council and the Collaborating Political Parties held a consultative meeting, to discuss the concerns of the CPP. The IRC requested time to intervene and hold further consultations with other political parties and the NEC, during the course of this week.
Regional Instability- Though not directly tied to our electoral concerns, the ongoing protests around elections disagreement in Guinea and Ivory Coast have created increased volatility of the region’s stability. As such, a number of regional and international appeals from our partners to allow for intervention has been considered.
We have made significant progress in achieving our goals—without the protest. Therefore, it is logical to await the outcome of these developments, before proceeding with the protest if necessary.
Free, fair, and credible elections are important pillars for sustaining our peace and security. Therefore, we will continue to engage with ECOWAS, the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia and other partners, to ensure that the right things are done by the National Elections Commission, so as to protect and sustain our peace and security. However, our next course of action will depend on the outcome of the various engagements, the ECOWAS technical team and final decision of the Court and the NEC primarily around the cleaning of the Voter Roll and the validity of the just ended Update process.