MONROVIA – Far ahead of the National Elections Commission regulations of campaign activities for the 2023 presidential and general elections, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on February 4, 2023 held a nationwide petitioning program for President George Manneh Weah’s re-election, for which the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) says is a flagrant violation of Section 12 of the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) Regulation on the conduct of political parties and coalitions.
According to an ECC press release dated February 6, 2023, the CDC rally was characterized by the wearing of T-Shirts and printing of banners depicting the picture of the President when the official campaign period outlined in the election timeline has not started. “This violation undercuts the principle of a “level playing field” required for the conduct of a fair and credible election.
“The ECC further observed that days leading to the rally, the CDC erected billboards that displayed the picture of the President in various parts of Monrovia, and NEC, has failed to take any action in keeping with Section 12 of its Regulation. The failure of the NEC to enforce its Regulation sets a dangerous precedence and undermines its neutrality as an independent Election Management Body (EMB),” the ECC noted.
In another development, the ECC says it is deeply concerned with the statement made by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor describing most Election Magistrates as corrupt.
“The ECC calls on the vice President to provide evidence to prove her assertion against the Magistrates. The Vice President further stated that the Magistrates needed to be rotated or changed. The ECC points out that the Vice President has no authority to call on the NEC to rotate or to change any Election Magistrate. The Vice President’s statement is an attempt to interfere in the operations of NEC and undermines its independence. We call on the NEC to resist any form of external control and influence from political parties or those holding public office. The pre-campaigning activity and attempt to influence the NEC are early warning indicators of challenges ahead of the October 2023 elections,” the ECC press release indicated.
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