YMCA Liberia Calls For Peaceful By-Elections among Candidates
Monrovia – The Young Men Association (YMCA) in Liberia has begged the indulgence of all Representatives Candidates and aspirants part taking in the by elections around the country to be peaceful at all times during their campaigns in their various districts.
The YMCA believes peaceful election will give Liberia a good image outside of being peaceful and love each other despite our political differences.
The YMCA said to ensure a peaceful Reelections in Bong, Bomi, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties on November 16, 2021, every principle individuals or candidates in the race should see Liberia as their common denominator.
The YMCA made the plead at a dialogue in Gbarnga Bong County that attracted major stakeholders of the county.
The YMCA through its Community Dialogue for Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation Program (CDRP) has begun a dialogue initiative to encourage candidates and supporters including youth to commit to peaceful elections by signing a peace pledge and making a joint public commitment reaffirming non-violence and a credible electoral process.
The CDRP, is being implemented by the YMCA, with funding from USAID mission in Liberia.
The Gbarnga Community Steering Group Meeting, is also involved to support peaceful, inclusive, participatory and credible elections through the strategic engagement of electoral and representative aspirants in a constructive dialogue.
The CDRP was launched on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the Nathaniel V. Massaquoi auditorium on the Kokoyah Road in Gbarnga City, Bong County.
The dialogue featured security personnel from the Liberia National Police, Officials from the National Elections Commission assigned in Bong County, Community leaders and representative aspirants as well as other dignitaries.
At the program the participants shared idea as to how young people can support a peaceful election process during the campaign and after.
Mainly the aspirants of different groups at the program appealed to the young people to maintain a peaceful attitude during the campaign season and affirmed that each person has the right to vote for whomever they wanted into office.
Youths from the respective counties were also warned against using violence or intimidation, or being used by politicians, during the election season.
The Project Coordinator of the CDRP, Mr. Benedict D. Seekey, providing overview of the project told representative aspirants and supporters that the initiative is a three-year project that is being funded by USAID to look at and promote non-elections violence within the pending by-elections in four of Liberia’s 15 counties.
He noted that one of the core-objectives of the CDRP is to mainly engaged young people into a peaceful activities during the country by-elections campaigns.
One of those things is how we look at and promote non-violence elections under this by-election in the four counties, Mr. Seekey has said.
He continue as saying, “So under that pillar we will be looking at spreading non-violence messages.”
Benedict said the YMCA through the CDRP is committed to working with key participants (candidates) throughout the elections processes, “We will work with you throughout this electoral period and beyond to assist with addressing the root causes of challenges to peaceful elections in Liberia.” He stressed.
Speaking earlier, Jappah Nah, NEC Deputy Director and Field Coordinator assigned in Bong County calls on aspirants to compete and discuss the key issues affecting the people of Liberia mainly their respective districts.
He said aspirants should be speaking out loud as to what they can do for their people if elected rather attacking personality.
Nah however appealed to the aspirants to advised their supporters to be the vanguard of positive change toward ensuring a peaceful election by not spreading hate speech and rumors.
We want you discuss the issues and not attacking personalities at political rallies and forums, discuss the issues and not personality, Nah stressed during his remarks.
“Avoid attacking personality this is not a beauty contest it is a democratic process,” said Mr. Nah.
He noted that elections management body of the country, National Elections Commission (NNEC) also needs to create a level Plainfield for every politicians legally recognized by the NEC and is part taking in the process.
Also speaking, E. Timotheus Kamaboakai, National General Secretary and CEO of the YMCA, appreciated all participants mainly from Bong County District #2 representative aspirants for the turn out.
He described election processes in every part of the world of being challenging, saying, “The process is challenging and tense because everyone wants to win, and there’s require one seat.”
He said, “That is why to lead a peaceful process we will need a free and transparent election, which has been guaranteed by NEC.”