Police, Political Parties Pledged to Work Towards Peaceful Elections in 2017
Monrovia – Twenty Two Political Parties have pledged their commitment to work with the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the smooth conduct of the 2017 presidential and Representatives Elections expected to take place in October of this year.
The parties made the commitment over the weekend at a stakeholders’ dialogue sponsored by the Liberia National olice ahead of the pending elections.
The Liberian National Police is currently touring the country with its “Yes to Peace No violence’ campaign as a means of reducing possible tension during the elections
A statement from the LNP said the political parties lauded the Police for undertaking such venture, especially when the country is set to make a historical transition.
Participants at the one-day dialogue called on the Police leadership to create an environment that will be feasible for all political actors in 2017.
The parties said the accessibility of the Police will further enhance the confidence of opposition political parties and other elections stakeholders.
The dialogue which was marked with frank exchanges focused on how the 2017 elections can be conducted void of violence.
Coalition for Democratic Change representative at the dialogue Mulbah Morlu said the event organized by the Police was unprecedented and as such his party will remain engage with the Police to have the elections void of violence, while ruling party Chairman for Governmental Affairs Isaac Manner embraced the moved by the LNP and described it as a good step for the country democracy, and admonished his colleagues at the forum to remain engage with the Police and avoid acts that will hinder the transition process.
The political parties reminded the Police of their constitutional obligation to the people of Liberia to include political parties and as such equal treatment must be melted out to all regardless of which political party one may come from.
They argued that Liberia political crisis has been as the result of state institutions being used to the disadvantage of others.
Opening the dialogue the Inspector General of Police, Gregory Coleman, underscored the importance of Police political parties relationship especially as the country prepared for the conduct of a very crucial elections.
Coleman said as part of LNP commitment in preventing potential crisis during the elections, the LNP will assign three Police officers to each political party that will be certified by the National Election Commission. He said the assigned officers will served as a liaison between the LNP and parties.
He told the gathering that the Liberia National Police was a state property, and as such it must be accessible to all regardless of their beliefs or political affiliations.
He informed the political parties leaders that the LNP as a security institution will do all it can to guard the process without fear or favor.
“As Chief of Police of Liberia, my primary focus is to preside over an election that will be void of violence and intimidation,” IGP said.
He called on the parties to operate within the framework of the law.
The embassies of Sweden, Ghana, Nigeria Ivory Coast, Lebanon and the UNDP were all in attendance and described the dialogue as fruitful and healthy for Liberia Democracy.
Peace Ambassador William Tolbert in remarks lauded participants for showing up to the dialogue, stressing that such commitment by the political parties was
a good sign but required of them to preach peace to their followers during the elections.