Gbarnga, Bong County – With support from ForumCiv Liberia, the Community Solutions Aid (CSAID) has ended the celebrations of the International Day of Democracy in Bong County.
The celebrations, according to the Executive Director of (CSAID), Peter N. Dolo, come in the wake of the United Nations (UN) recognition of September 15 as International Day of Democracy through its 2007 General Assembly with the intent of promoting and upholding the principles of Democracy while calling on all member states and organizations to celebrate the day in a suitable style that contributes to raising public awareness.
Dolo explained that the celebration was intended to propagate peace messages and gather the hopes and fears of citizens regarding the pending 2023 democratic exercise.
“We all know that 2023 is the year of elections in Liberia, and there will be different views, at different places and different time. Some of these views, we know will be things that will not be accepted by other Communities and the other Communities it will be accepted but despite these, they should not serve as a ground for defiant”, Dolo told the gathering.
Regarding their fears, the participants in separate remarks, named less security, electoral fraud, traditional interplay, double voting, electoral violence, trucking of aliens, media preliminary results, conflicting campaign Schedules and limited civic awareness as some of their worries ahead of the elections period.
“Our hope is that those who are responsible for electoral activities will handle the coming elections with care because we foresee tension ahead”, Washington Bonah, the Commissioner of Jorquelleh District Three said.
For his part, Asa David Chon, the Country Manager of ForumCiv Liberia, thanked The Community Solutions Aids for successfully implementing the institution’s sponsored program. “We are glad that CSAID approached us and we collaborated for the organization of this program that has become a success. I think all of the information that we are gathering here today is something that if we all work with will help make the upcoming election a peaceful one”, he noted.
Mr. Chon also clarified that ForumCiv, as an organization, does not support any political candidate nor political party, but its aims are to see the perfect practice of democracy.
At the end of the indoor event, participants along with officials of ForumCiv and CSAID visited the memorial site of Samay Massacre so as to see and know the negative impact of conflict.
Held under the theme “Setting the Pace for a Peaceful 2023 Democratic Exercise”, the event brought together youth leaders of different political parties, traditional leaders and citizens of Samay and nearby communities, including stakeholders from across four districts in Bong County.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a resolution in 2007 that September 15 of each year would be observed as the International Day of Democracy. Their goal for this day is to promote government’s role in maintaining open democracy among all member nations of the UN Charter and to celebrate the system of values democracy promotes, giving citizens the power to make decisions regarding all aspects of their lives.