22 political parties during the week took part in the National Elections Commission (NEC) organized Inter-Party Consultative Committee, and has pledged to support free, fair and non-violent elections in Liberia.
The parties presented their resolution to the NEC, United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL), and other partners.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, during remarks yesterday after the presentation, described it as a remarkable development and appealed to political party leaders and their standard bearers to continue their commitment to peaceful elections.
He said women’s political participation is encouraging and urged women to preach peace in all their electioneering in the country.
“Elections are not only fighting for political office but the best way we can guarantee that they are free, fair and transparent because it’s everybody’s business,” Cllr. Korkoya said.
He assured the political parties and the international community that NEC will remain ethical and transparent during the elections in October.
The parties that committed to peaceful elections included the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), All Liberian Coalition Party, (ALCOP), National Patriotic Party (NPP), United People’s Party (UPP), Vision of Liberia
Transformation (VOLT), True Whig Party (TWP), Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Alternative National Congress (ANC), All Liberian Party (ALP), Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Unity Party (UP), among others.
Meanwhile, African Union Representative Mr. Prosper Addo commended the political parties for their great work at the Inter-Party Consultative Committee (IPCC) and for coming up with a resolution that sets the base to support free and fair elections in the country.
He described their effort as very instrumental, especially since it is meant to maintain the peace Liberians are enjoying today.
“Peace is non-negotiable and at the same time violence is not an option, so we must reconcile and work together to ensure that peace reigns even before and after elections,” Mr. Addo said.
For his part, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of UNMIL, Farid Zarif, told the political parties’ representatives that their commitment to continue to dialogue must persevere.
He called on them to make use of the adequate space that is given them. “We need a transparent, free and fair election and everybody should raise the issue of peace.”
It may be recalled that on September 21-23, 2016 Liberian political parties met at an Inter-Party Consultative Committee meeting in Ganta and agreed on a strategy to ensure peaceful and credible elections in October 2017.
At the end of the meeting, they issued a resolution to pursue a common goal with a strong commitment to ensuring inclusive, transparent and credible elections.
The Ganta Declaration was supported by the NEC and United Nations Development Program’s election project with funding from the European Union and Sweden in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) that receives financing from USAID.
At the end of the forum, a member of the opposition ANC National Vice Chair for Political Affairs, Ulysses D. Barchue who was also at the meeting, speaking to reporters expressed thanks and appreciation to the organizers of the forum, and further pledged his political party’s support during these endeavors.