MONROVIA: Whether it is out of fear of defeat or an attempt to form an alibi and pretext to resort to violence in case of defeat, many political parties often jump ahead of the electoral management bodies to announce their own results and declare themselves in advance as the winners of elections. The phenomenon lifted its ugly head immediately following the October 10, 2023 polls even when the National Elections Commission had not completed counting 20 percent of tally sheets. Perhaps aware that the competition of self-declared results between the two major parties—the CDC and UP—were reaching dangerous proportion, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) observer mission currently in the country growled, not only calling on political stakeholders to desist but also announcing threats of reprimand for violators. The Analyst reports.
The ECOWAS Commission elections observation team in the country has sternly warned Liberia political stakeholders, including political leaders as well as the National Elections Commission and the Security services of Liberia that the international community would hold them accountable for any actions that may lead to violence and instability.
The international community stressed its stance against violence in the country with reference to the outcome of the electoral process as the results are being released.
In a statement released on the weekend the Commission said its attention was drawn by “attempts by some Liberian stakeholders to declare premature victories or put undue pressure on the National Elections Commission (NEC).”
The ECOWAS Commission reminded the political parties and their leaders of their commitments under the revised Farmington River Declaration on peaceful electoral process, which was endorsed by the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations.
The group reminded Liberians of West Africa’s invaluable role in Liberia’s conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts, including the loss of lives of ECOWAS Community citizens and the important role the United Nations and international partners have equally played in post-conflict Liberia, including in the current electoral process.
“In this regard, the ECOWAS Commission admonishes all Liberian stakeholders to abide by the democratic tenets of a peaceful and credible electoral process as provided for by Liberian Constitution and other relevant laws, as well as ECOWAS legal instruments, especially the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.”
It stated further: “The ECOWAS Commission further cautions all stakeholders, including political leaders as well as the National Elections Commission and the Security services of Liberia that ECOWAS, the AU and the International Community will hold them accountable for any actions that may lead to violence and instability.”