The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) views the appointment by the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) of government officials on its campaign team for the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election as a gross violation of the Code of Conduct (Part Five: Political Participation) that regulates the conduct of government officials related to electoral processes. The ECC maintains that respect for the rule of law at every stage of the electoral process is the foundation for conducting credible and peaceful elections.
Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that: All officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not:
5.1 (A) Engage in political activities, canvass, or contest for elected offices;
5.1(C) Serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.
The appointment of presidential appointees to the CDC campaign team is in breach of the provisions cited above and greatly undermines the integrity of the country’s democracy. The ECC wishes to remind Liberians that democratic governance is meaningless when the laws governing the conduct of elections are disrespected, ignored and violated.
The conduct of election does not guarantee democracy. The foundation of democracy is grounded in respect for the rule of law. When this happens, democracy grows; it is deepened, and consolidated.
In view of this breach, the ECC calls on the CDC-led government to impress upon the leadership of the party to remove the names of presidential appointees that have been appointed to server in various capacities on the CDC’s campaign team.
ECC is not ignorant of violence marring ongoing elections in the region, especially our immediate neighbors Guinea and Ivory Coast and calls on all political parties to demonstrate restrain, diligence, and due care to avoid any form of electoral violence.
The peace in the region is already fragile due to ongoing political processes and Liberia must do all it can to reduce the risk of further fragility.
About the ECC:
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) is a civil society platform, comprising several organizations: Center for Democratic Governance (CDG); Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP); Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD); Naymote Partners for Democratic Development; West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), and the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). The ECC is in partnership with the Liberia Accountability Voice Initiatives (LAVI) with support from USAID.