Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia (CABICOL). Credit: CABICOL

“Civility should be the order of the day”: Catholic Bishops in Liberia on Ongoing Campaign

By ACI Africa Staff

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia (CABICOL) are advocating for civility as politicians engage in campaigns ahead of the October 10 general elections.

In their statement shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, August 22, CABICOL members caution against “physical and verbal attacks” and call for tolerance.

“Electoral campaigns are not synonymous to ‘war’ as sadly depicted sometimes during this time,” Liberia’s Catholic Bishops say in the statement that the President of CABICOL, Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga Diocese, signed.

They add, “Being of different political persuasions is a sign of our fundamental rights to choose who we want to lead us. Therefore, there is no need to see one another as ‘enemies’ but rather competitors to serve.”

“Civility should be the order of the day. We can propagate our agenda without recourse to the use of violence,” they CABICOL members say, and cautioning against violence, add, “Physical and verbal attacks on opposing candidates have no place in our emerging democracy.”

The National Elections Commission (NEC) scheduled August 5 – October 8 as the period within which campaigns for the general elections in the West African nation can be conducted.

In the statement dated August 15 that was also published on CABICOL Facebook page, Catholic Bishops in Liberia urge the electorate to turn up and elect the President, members of the House of Representatives, and half of the Senate.

To vote, they say, “is not only a moral obligation but also a patriotic duty. In so doing, we are helping in the promotion and safeguarding of our nascent democracy.”

“There cannot be voters’ apathy in our current dispensation. Failure to vote is not only unpatriotic but also a serious omission in the fostering and maintenance of our peace. Failure to choose is already a choice and a bad choice,” CABICOL members say.

For credible and peaceful elections, the Catholic Church leaders urge NEC officials to “be professional and above reproach because the credibility of the elections depends on your level of professionalism.”

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