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Friday, May 24, 2024

CSO COUNCIL URGES LIBERIANS TO TURN OUT IN MASS TO EXERCISE DEMOCRATIC FRANCHISE

Date:

MONROVIA – As the stage for the much-publicized 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections is set, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) is urging Liberians to turn out tomorrow, October 10, 2023, in mass to exercise their democratic franchise.

In execution of Article 77(b) and 83(a) of the Liberian Constitution, eligible Liberian voters will go to the poll on October 10 to 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 while the latter for nine years. In those elections, President Weah, standard bearer of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will contest against 19 opposition candidates for the presidency.

The Council in a pre-election day statement released on Monday, October 9, 2023, called on Liberians to wake up from their beds to peacefully turn out at the various voting precincts to exercise their democratic rights.

NCSCL reminded Liberians that their votes are the most powerful weapons they have in hand to make the necessary changes for the growth and development of their country and for the betterment of the future ahead.

While being saddened over past incidents of electoral violence during the course of the two-month campaign period, the Council urged Liberians to conduct themselves peacefully at the various voting precincts and centers so as to avoid chaos.

“The 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections present one of the most singular opportunities for Liberians to make the needed changes for growth and development and for the future of their country. Therefore, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia calls on Liberians to turn out in their numbers to peacefully vote on elections day. Don’t sit there and let this opportunity pass you, because it’s the only opportunity you have to decide your future for the next six to nine years,” said the Council.

“Again, the Council reminds Liberians going at the polls not to engage into any form of confrontation that has the propensity to derail our well-sought-for peace, for Liberia is all that we have,” the statement furthered.

“The whole world is watching us, and we, Liberians, are the first custodians of our own peace and so it’s our responsibility to keep the peace.  It is our hope and prayers that Liberians will remain committed to a peaceful process through civil engagement.”

At the same time, NCSCL reminded all political parties and Independent candidates participating in these elections about their commitment to the Farmington River Declaration in promoting a violence-free electoral process.

The Council also lauded the country’s electoral management body – the National Elections Commission (NEC), for the preparation so far leading to the main event day; but cautioned the Commission to ensure a free, fair and transparent process.

“The Council is pleased to thank the National Elections Commission for managing the process leading to Elections Day; even though there were challenges along the way. As the Commission has committed to do, we crave for the conduct of a free, credible, fair and transparent process on Elections Day; hence, the National Civil Society Council is poised to religiously follow the different developments at the poll,” added the Council.

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