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Friday, June 21, 2024

CATHOLIC LAWYERS ASSOCIATION ADMONISHES LIBERIANS TO VOTE AND STAY AWAY FROM VIOLENCE

Date:

MONROVIA – The Catholic Lawyers Association of Liberia admonishes Catholics across the length and berth of Liberia and the Liberian populace in general that are registered voters to turn out in their numbers to participate in the Tuesday, October 10, 2023 Legislative and Presidential Elections. Participation in the ensuing electoral process is not only a civic duty but also in adherence and respect to the Constitutional provisions as provided in Articles 1, 77 and 83 of the Constitution of Liberia (1986).

Regardless of how each individual citizen feels regarding the performances of past and current leadership, to boycott or stay away from the forthcoming elections does not help the situation in any way.  It rather allows a handful of individuals to decide the destiny of the country and regrettably, the entire country will have to live with their choice whether good or bad for the next six (6) years for President and Representatives and nine (9) years for Senators. It is against this backdrop that the Catholic Lawyers Association of Liberia calls on all registered Catholic voters to turnout on voting day to exercise their constitutional right to vote for their preferred candidate(s).

Meanwhile, the Catholic Lawyers Association of Liberia is greatly concerned about recent developments that have the propensity to threaten the over two (2) decades of peace being enjoyed by the people of Liberia. Particular attention is drawn to advertent or inadvertent actions and/or inactions of the National Elections Commission in the execution of its statutory responsibility that could raise unnecessary suspicion and distrust in certain quarters. The Association believes those in charge of the electoral process are individuals with high moral standard and they would do nothing to diminish the trust which have been reposed in them. The Association also calls on all political actors and the general public to refrain from any actions and statements including threats or jabs that would create tension, uneasiness or impede the peace of the nation.

Most importantly, the Catholic Lawyers Association of Liberia denounces in the strongest term any form of violence which has begun to creep its way in the elections. The incident in Foya, Lofa County on Friday, September 29, that reportedly left two persons dead and several injured is extremely alarming and all measures need to be put in place, not just to prevent the recurrence of such incident, but also to ensure those responsible for this mayhem be made to face the full weight of the law. Certainly, all Liberians know the consequences of electoral violence and as such everyone must standup against hate-speeches, threats and all acts that would derail the peace and plunge the country into another round of conflict.

The Catholic Lawyers Association of Liberia therefore calls on all eligible Catholic voters and candidates, as well as those playing key roles in political parties to utilize the legal processes to handle electoral disputes.  We call on all Liberians to jealously protect the peace, refrain from all forms of violence and respect the rule of law during these elections processes.

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