Liberia: Youth for Change, Collaborating Partners Launch Election Dialogues to Promote Peaceful Electoral Process Ahead of December 8 Polls

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Monrovia – In the wake of heightened political tensions that continue to mar the events leading to the December 8, 2020 special senatorial elections, a conglomeration of 32 youth-based non-governmental organizations will today, Thursday launch a civic engagement campaign called the “Youth Election Dialogues.”

According to the Executive Director of ‘Youth for Change’, the lead organizer of the campaign, Alex Devine, the event, aimed at promoting peaceful elections in Liberia will kick off in Montserrado County with a two-day forum in Monrovia from June 24 – 25, 2020.

Speaking to FrontPage Africa, Devine said the dialogues will bring together 250 young people and major stakeholders of the elections including top senatorial candidates, incumbent Senator Darius Dillon of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and Montserrado County District#5 Representative, Thomas Fallah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

Other key actors including officials of National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), as well as officials of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and USAID, UNDP, The Carter Center and the Swedish Embassy will grace the occasion.

In recent weeks, rival supporters of the ruling CDC and the opposition CPP have been engulfed in violent tussles that often lead to stone throwing.

Speaking further, Devine stressed the dialogues will create an opportunity for the young people who are mostly used by politicians to instigate violence and other negative vices during electoral processes to interact with these key actors and commit to promoting a peaceful electoral process.

“As an institution that is into education program, we also believe that we have a moral and national responsibility to this country and looking at how our country is at the verge of going to election, and the tension is all around, no one need to tell us that there is a need for more sensitization and civic engagement with the young people across this country,” he said.

“There is a point where these candidates and these institutions will make commitments toward keeping this country peaceful through audio and written documents. They will make commitment to keeping the country peaceful.”

Speaking further he said: “One of the reasons why our country is getting tensional by the day is there is too many speculations. And when people assume many times and the information is not provided them, they hold onto the wrong information and it becomes a problem. So, we want to bring the people who are responsible for elections issues to come and tell us the road map they have put in place to ensure a peaceful election process.”

The civic engagement, he added will be replicated across the country, with Gbarnga, Bong County being the next stop to be followed by Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

He pointed out that although the initiative is not being sponsored by donors for now, he is hopeful that support will come along the way to ensure the entire country is covered.

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