A Liberian envoy is calling on Liberians to make themselves part of national decision-making by taking advantage of the upcoming voter registration process in the country.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, announced at a press conference that the registration process will officially commence on March 20, 2023.
Ambassador Otis C. Harris said it is the right of every Liberian 18 years and above to register and vote during the 2023 general and presidential elections.
“The right to vote is guaranteed in chapter III, article 11 of the Liberian constitution as fundamental rights and any potential qualified citizen cannot be denied. The responsibilities of citizens are those duties and activities, in which the citizens of a state are expected to be involved in, to demonstrate their love, commitment, loyalty, patriotism and selflessness to the nation. Within the electoral process, such responsibilities are: voters should encourage others about the benefits of registering and voting during elections. This will help reduce apathy and ensure that a good number of voters participate in electing candidates into various elective positions,” Amb. Harris noted.
According to him, his team will mobilize and encourage the people of Liberia to go out and do their registration when it commences.
He added:”We want to encourage the voters through awareness and discussions about their roles in the elections, We intend to organize a series of programs in various counties to educate our people about their role as citizens, their rights and responsibilities, the importance of voting,”
He is also appealing to Liberians especially the youth throughout the fifteen counties to not consider violence as the first and only option during these processes.
“Make sure that you let your voice be heard by registering to vote. “Liberians who do not register to vote will not have another chance to let themselves be heard for six years,” he added.
The Diplomat urged all Liberians to understand the importance of decision-making, crucial for moving Liberia forward.
Accordingly, he cautioned would-be voters to not allow themselves to be trucked or used for violence against anyone else in these critical times.
The award-winning Ambassador urged politicians to disengage in propagating messages that will incite violence during these crucial times in the country’s history so as to allow peaceful elections.
“We are organizing a series of activities to sensitize Liberians, the first-time voters and the undecided ones, to get the courage and register to give them the opportunities as citizens to vote during the elections. We are asking all Liberians including politicians to join the initiative to encourage our citizens to form part of the process,” Otis Harris added.
As we expect the 2023 Legislative and Presidential elections, the Liberian humanitarian wants the first-time voters who will constitute a large portion of the voting population to develop the courage and habit to participate in the processes.
“We believe by providing civic education for the undecided and first-time voters from the counties will make them take the lead during the registration.
He disclosed that the interventions of all Liberians through different methods and media will educate citizens, electors, and voters about the electoral process in order to increase their participation in the electoral processes.
“We want to ensure that people understand their right as voters and exercise that right with full knowledge and responsibility. To educate the voter about the importance of vote in a democratic country,” he said.