By: H. Matthew Turry
MONROVIA: The Women Situation Room (WSR) and the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) have called on Liberians to remain calm and nonviolent as the National Elections Commission (NEC) goes about the final vote tally to announce the results of the 2023 elections, adding that parties that are dissatisfied with the tallying procedure should take advantage of the laws of the land.
The duo made the call in a press statement issued yesterday in Monrovia. “If you are dissatisfied with the tally or the procedure, then there [are] ways provided by Liberian law by which you can challenge the process and even the final vote itself once you have evidence,” the two groups noted.
They said, “The process starts with you filing a complaint with the election Magistrate. Even at the polling station when you went to vote, you could have filed a complaint. It is not too late; you can still file a complaint,” they said.
According to the WSR and LCC joint statement, “If after you have had a hearing with the Magistrate and you do not agree with him/her you can then file an appeal with the Board of NEC Commissioners to hear you. Then if you disagree with the Board of Commissioners, you can take your case to our Supreme Court who is the final court in Liberia.”
The institutions then called on the NEC to continue the process in a transparent manner and to ensure that incidents like the incident in Nimba are investigated. Reports said that a Country Devil came out and ballot boxes were missing, although 1 box still reported missing with.
The WSR and the LCC in their joint statement requested that the NEC investigate the incident, and the results are expeditiously reported to the public. “To leave incidents like this without NEC publically and expediently addressing them is undermining the confidence of the public in NEC,” the statement averred.
Accordingly, the statement called on the Minister of Internal Affairs to investigate the coming out of the Country Devil and report his findings to the public.
“It is our request that the Minister of Internal Affairs ensure that our National Symbols like the Country Devil are not used during elections to disrupt the elections process,” The statement indicated, adding also, The killing of two persons reported this weekend in Zorzor, Lofa County, is not only of concern to the public, but it is a reality that the public does not want see, especially as mob violence is alleged to have contributed to one of the deaths.”
The statement noted that Liberians have shown that we have matured since our last elections as an electorate. We went to the polls in peace and voted for the candidate of our choice in peace. “We certainly can obtain the results from the NEC in peace and start the legal process if you do not like the results,” the groups in the statement maintained, imploring parties to “Stop the violence and use the law to address their dissatisfaction.
“Elections are an event. We have to live with each other after elections. USE THE LAW AS YOUR VOICE,” the statement concluded.