In the wake of recent commitment by the Government of the United States of America (USA) to erecting the necessary checks that would ensure the holding of a transparent electoral process in Liberia, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has extolled the US government.
In execution of Article 77(b) of the Liberian Constitution, eligible Liberian voters will go to the poll to on October 10 elect a President/Vice President, 73 Representatives and 15 Senators with the two former steering the affairs of the state for the next six years and the latter for nine years. In those elections, President Weah, standard bearer of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will contest against 18 opposition candidates for the presidency.
Speaking at her debut news conference at the US Embassy near Monrovia recently, , Chargé d’Affaires Catherine Rodriguez, said the US government wants to see the free and fair democratic process upheld, stressing anyone who undermines the process would face measures such as sanctions from the US government.
In a bid to ensuring a free and fair process she indicated that the US is prepared to assist in efforts to keep these elections free, fair, and peaceful and would equally hold accountable anyone, who engages in activities to undermine the democratic electoral process in Liberia.
“The United States is also prepared to assist in efforts to keep these elections free, fair, and peaceful by holding accountable anyone responsible for engaging in activities to undermine the democratic election process in Liberia through additional measures such as sanctions,” said the US diplomat.
The US envoy urged the Government of Liberia (GoL) to ensure that these elections are fair, free, and peaceful and to hold accountable those that would attempt to disrupt it.
She wants government invest an adequate level of money, personnel, and organizational resources to protect its citizens, candidates, polling stations, and election workers from intimidation or harm.
“The eyes of the world are focused on these elections and how they are managed. The United States, as a longstanding partner of Liberia, along with the international community, has been working closely with the NEC to make sure that all election observers have full access to polling stations during election day, as well as access to the vote tallying. The U.S. Embassy through USAID is directly supporting both international and domestic election observer missions, as well as our own mission observing the election process across the country,” she noted.
On the heel of this commitment, the CSO Council, which is the umbrella body for all civil society organizations in the country, in a release commended the world power for taking the ensuing Liberia’s election as one of its priorities.
The Council pointed out that the position by the US government to a larger extent bring high level of credibility to the process as it would deter would-be violator(s) from engaging into acts that have the propensity to undermine the process.
“We see the recent statement coming from the US government as a great relief as Liberians of all walks of lives yarn for a free and credible process. This is something that we, at the level of the Civil Society Council have been calling for at different stakeholders’ engagement. This statement alone, we feel brings light and life to our many calls,” said the release signed by Chairperson Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai.
At the same time, the Council has lauded the US for the deployment of the first batch of Peace Corps following the Covid-19 surge.
The 12 Peace Corps volunteers, who were sworn in during a ceremony at Monrovia city hall recently, will be working in the education and health sectors during their service.
The Peace Corps has been in Liberia since 1962, the year after Peace Corps began.
NCSCL noted that the presence of the Peace Corps will add further boost to the country’s educational and health sectors.