The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

DPPL Wants Pre-Campaign Violators Banned From October Polls

By Bill W. Cooper 

Ahead of Liberia’s 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, the Democratic People’s Party of Liberia (DPPL) has called for the exclusion of any political party involved in pre-campaigning activities. 

The party argues that such actions undermine the electoral process and should result in the disqualification of the involved party, to serve as a deterrent to would-be violators.

The party’s call is in reaction to a recent statement by the National Elections Commission (NEC) Political Officer, Ignatius Wesseh, about the imposing of fines on three major political parties for their alleged involvement in pre-campaigning activities. 

The Commission, prior to the pronouncement of the official start of campaign activities, said it has documented over 100 pre-campaigning activity violations, for which the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Unity Party (UP), and Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) were fined US$5,000 each.

But this decision has since been rejected and challenged by the CPP at the level of the NEC’s hearing officers, on grounds that the Commission does not have the legal authority to impose fines on political parties.

Even though the DPPL’s stance has ignited a wave of debate amongst citizens, the party’s standard bearer, Rev. David Kaimu, further described the act by the three parties as an ‘affront’ to the established election guidelines.

He named the campaign rallies, distribution of promotional materials, and public demonstrations, which he said were all carried out prior to the official start of the campaign period.

Pre-campaigning activities are considered controversial in Liberia, as they are often seen as an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over competitors before the campaign season officially begins.

According to him, said actions against the three major political parties, especially the ruling CDC, would send a strong message to all political entities, emphasizing the importance of playing by the rules and ensuring a level playing field for all candidates.

Rev. Kaimu added that he believes a strict approach to enforcing election guidelines would safeguard the integrity of the electoral process, fostering public trust and confidence in the forthcoming elections.

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