MONROVIA: As stakeholders especially observers and monitors continue to release their assessment of the just concluded October 10, 2023 general elections, the CSO Network for Human Rights, Democracy & Peacebuilding in Liberia (CNHRDP-L) has declared “the conduct of the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections free, fair, credible and transparent despite few challenges observed by its observers” and cautioned the Elections Coordination Committee(ECC) and other CSO networks currently involved in election observation “to remain neutral, patriotic and non-partisan during this crucial period of electioneering”
In a post-election assessment report released over the weekend, and signed by Thomas G. Bedell, Jr, Lead Campaigner, the institution said on October 9th, 2023, CNHRDP-L deployed over 200 election observers to monitor the October 10 elections in four major voter-rich counties including Montserrado, Margibi, Bong and Nimba counties.
The report said key activities that were closely monitored amongst others included the early start of voting, the presence of pull watchers including independent candidates and political parties representation at the various polling stations, the transparency in the voting process, the closing of polls, the counting of ballots as well as the placement of results on the bulletin boards at the various polling stations.
Other activities, according to the release that were tightly observed included the presence of police and joint security personnel, election-related violence, announcement of results amongst others.
“CNHRDP-L observers who covered over 1,950 polling places in the four counties, considers the conduct of the electoral process and events by the National Elections Commission free, fair, transparent and credible despite few hitches including but not only limited to the delay in the initial start of voting in some places, absence of some political party representatives, low lighting conditions coupled with few violence situation which were promptly put under controlled by the joint security personnel.
“CNHRDP-L congratulates every Liberian citizens who turned out massively to exercise their civic duties and love for their country.
“CNHRDP-L also lauds the National Election Commission (NEC) for conducting the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner in the midst of extreme difficult logistical and environmental challenges in some places”, the release said.
At the same time, CNHRDP-L called on all political parties, independent candidates and actors to desist from announcing election results as only NEC is charged with the authority under the constitution of the Republic of Liberia to officially announce election results. “CNHRDP-L also believes that announcing of self-results is undemocratic and has the propensity to undermine the peace and stability of the country”, the release further said.
“More importantly, CNHRDP-L wants to caution the Election Coordination Committee (ECC) and other CSO networks currently involved in election observation to remain neutral, patriotic and non-partisan during this crucial period of electioneering. CNHRDP-L believes that the widely publicized dismissal statement of one of its data Clerk by the ECC was highly political and has the propensity to endanger the life of the individual concerned due to his direct link to the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“While it is true that the ECC has the right to dismiss any of its employee due to contractual bridges, widespread publication and stereotyping was unnecessary especially in a violence infested-society where individuals are being mobbed due to their affiliation to political institutions and parties”, the release said.
The release further highlighted the assurance of CNHRDP-L to the public of its commitment to continuously engage with every aspect with respect to the conduct of the presidential and legislative electoral process and ensures that Liberia remain peaceful during and after the 2023 election.
CNHRDP-L is the conglomeration of five major Civil Society Organizations (The Youth Against Drugs and Substance Abuse in Liberia – YADASA-Liberia, the Humble Youth – HYI, the Regional Watch for Human Rights Watch – RWHR, the Peace Building Resource Center – PBRC and the Cooperative Initiatives for Peace and Development – CIPAD) established to contribute towards the promotion of Human Rights, Democratic-governance and sustainable Peace in Liberia.
Members of CNHRDP-L are renowned human rights and peacebuilding activists with impeccable track records who have worked over the years in their respective organizations and communities to promote human rights, democratic-governance and peace in Liberia.