As Liberians opting for a free and fair elections come October 10, 2017, bare seven days for this historic occasion, an opposition political party, the Alternative National Congress (ANC), has written the National Elections Commission (NEC), complaining the Unity Party of brewing confusion during the last days of the 2017 campaign periods.
Addressing a news conference Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the headquarters of the ANC, the Vice Presidential candidate of the party, Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh and the Party’s National Chairman, L.O. Gould said the party is taken aback of the decision taken by the ruling Unity Party to launch the same day when the ANC earlier given this date for its final campaign.
“In accordance with National Electoral Commission (NEC) regulations, the ANC received approval to hold its closing campaign rally at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Saturday, October 7th., but instead a public announcement was made over two weeks ago to ensure that ANC partisans would be able to convene freely and peacefully,” a statement read by the ANC executives noted.
The ANC Vice Presidential candidate reading further said, “Yesterday, the Unity Party (UP) Campaign Chairman, Augustine Ngafuan, declared that the UP would hold a victory rally the same day, 7 October, which according to electoral rules, is prohibited. Further, it claims that the rally will be at Samuel K. Doe (SKD) stadium, a facility denied to other parties,”.
To protect its right to freely compete in the country’s 2017 elections, the ANC is officially lodging a complaint before the NEC, and with all international observers and international missions, accusing the ruling party of exerting undue influence on the electoral process to deny other parties the right to freely associate and to get their message out.
Further, the ANC believes that this effort will create tensions amongst partisans, which the UP is seeking to exploit for its own purpose. This comes after the UP has manipulated state media resources, denying access state-sponsored radio and TV station (ELBC) to other parties.
We hereby protest the suppression of legitimate political expression in Liberia, and call on all parties to honor the Code of Conduct, the Farmington River Declaration, and NEC standard procedures.
This desperate act by UP, the ANC said, is further evidence that they are running away from true political competition, just like their standard bearer, Vice President Boakai, ran away from Mr. Cummings in the second presidential debate, the statement concluded.
But in reaction the ANC’s claims, the Campaign spokesperson of the Unity Party, Mo Ali on a local radio station via mobile phone denied the allegation leveled against his political Party (UP) noting that the usage of the Samuel Kanyen Doe Sports Complex (SKD) instead of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) by the UP was due to a request made to NEC by the ANC to us the ATS on the same date, October 7, 2017.