“Historic Moment for Democracy”, NEC Boss -Hails Political Parties on Pledge to Violent free election

MONROVIA – Elated by the huge turnout of the major political stakeholders in the country at yesterday’s signing of the Farmington River Declaration, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission(NEC), Madam Davidetta Brown-Lassanah 023has said the occasion represents a historic moment in the democratic landscape of Liberia where the major political actors, who are contestants in the 10th October 2023 elections, and commended the political parties for once more mustering the courage and enthusiasm to collectively show to the world their ability to continuously contribute to the maintenance of peace in the country by committing themselves to a violent-free election on October 10, 2023.

At the well-attended program held at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, which was graced by the presence of prominent personalities including President George Manneh Weah, VP Jewel Howard Taylor, members of the diplomatic corps including the President of the ECOWAS Commission, members of the UN Delegation, former Vice President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former VP Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Ms. Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and the Acting Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Hon. Albert Tugbe Chie, Pro Tempore of the Liberia Senate Her Honor, Madam Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Liberia; political leaders, among others, Madam Brown-Lassanah historicized that the Farmington declaration was birthed on January 23, 2017, when the former President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced during her annual message to the National Legislature the need for a National Political Forum for the peaceful conduct of 2017 General Elections. Committed to a peaceful electoral process, Her Excellency appointed a steering committee for the National Political forum headed by Bishop Jonathan B. B. Hart and Sheikh Omaru Kamara, President and Vice President of the Interreligious Council of Liberia.

“Dedicated to its responsibilities, the Hart’s and Kamara’s Steering Committee worked diligently with all registered political parties to draft an agreement that was signed on June 4, 2017, styled and known as The Farmington River Declaration of 2017. That Declaration sought from the political parties, strict adherence to the laws governing the electoral process, and a commitment to an electoral process free of all forms of violence that may endanger the peace and security of Liberia.

“Your Excellencies, let me use this opportunity to express the Commission’s most profound gratitude to the standard bearers, chairpersons, and members of all registered political parties, coalitions, and alliances for this milestone in the electoral sojourn of our country, The Farmington River Declaration of 2017.

“Your Excellencies, leaders of political parties, ladies and gentlemen, we have gathered here today as an affirmation of steps taken in 2017, to once again, witness, with utmost delight, the recommitment of the political parties to ensure that the 2023 General Elections in Liberia shall be free of all forms of violence and intimidations. The National Elections Commission, in this public manner, commends all political parties for your commitment in this regard she said”.

She said NEC was grateful to the Government and people of Liberia for providing the enabling environment where all eligible Liberians can participate in the electoral process free of violence.

She also used the occasion to commend the African Union, the ECOWAS Commission of which ECONEC is a part, Electoral Management Bodies of Sierra Leone, INEC-Nigeria, and the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA), as well as the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) and its implementing partners, the One United Nations in Liberia, the European Union and other ambassadorial missions to Liberia including Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Canada, and South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana, among others, for their unflinching support to the National Elections Commission in its conduct of free and credible elections which borders on the sustenance of peace and security.

“Finally, the Commission is grateful to the organizers of this occasion they being, Economic Community of West African States Commission, and the United Nations in Liberia working with the National Elections Commission and all other stakeholders and partners including political parties, coalitions, alliances and the government of Liberia to make this day possible”, she said

The program was organized under the auspices of NEC, ECOWAS and the United Nations(UN). The Farmington Peace Pledge obliges signatories and their supporters to uphold the principles of peaceful elections and respect the rule of law.

At the occasion, political leaders from 27 of 31 political parties signed the Declaration, an enhanced and comprehensive declaration designed to ensure a nonviolent electoral process, which builds on the foundation of the initial pledge signed in 2017

Among notable political leaders who signed the document included but not limited to President George Manneh Weah who signed on behalf of his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC), while former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai for the Unity Party and Alexander B. Cummings for the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP).

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