Naymote Partners for Democratic Development says it is deeply concerned over the growing wave of hate speech and political violence in Liberia leading to Liberia’s crucial Presidential and Legislative Elections.
In a release issued on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in Paynesville, Naymote, through its Executive Director Eddie Jarwolo said these ‘unfortunate’ developments pose distinct threats to the holding of peaceful, free, and credible elections in October and called on political leaders to live up to the Farmington Declaration.
“We would like to remind political leaders, parties, and national institutions about their obligations under the Constitution of Liberia; and the commitments under the Farmington River Declaration of Peace which was signed in April 2023,” Naymote said.
However, Naymote concerns followed after members of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), a constituent member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) stormed the Christ Chapel of Faith of Senator Prince Y. Johnson of the opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), disrupting the Church’s Sunday service.
But Senator Johnson in respond also used his sermon to make damning allegations against other politicians including Mr. Alexander Cummings, in which Cummings’ Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) fired back.
It can be recalled that key political parties induing the the National Elections Commission (NEC) in the presence of international partners signed tye Farmington River Declaration inteded to support peaceful elections over violence.
Additionally, vy signing the document of Peace, the institution said political leaders agreed to support and participate in violence-free, peaceful, transparent, and credible legislative and presidential elections on October 10, 2023.
But in the statement, Naymote specifically calls on the government and the opposition to desist from making inflammatory statements and utterances against each other that could spill out of control and lead to violence, adding, “It is hard time that Liberian political actors take note of the importance of these impending elections and behave/act within the confines of established rules and regulations to avoid the process being derailed.”
The institution said it believes that the forthcoming presidential and legislative elections represent an opportunity to consolidate the peace and democracy that Liberia has enjoyed for 20 years.
Meanwhile, the institutions called on the diplomatic missions and partners that have contributed immensely towards peace in Liberia to speak against actions that will undermine the peace and security of the state and impose sanctions and visa restrictions on perpetrators of violence, and individuals making hate speech towards the 2023 elections.
It calls on all Liberians including political leaders and party activists to eschew violence; and rather engage in constructive policy debates and mobilize their supporters around transformative agendas to contest the elections.
Naymote, founded in the early 2000s, is one of Liberia’s leading pro-democracy institutions that is in the vanguard of advocating for good governance and transparent and credible elections.