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ESR Calls Liberians To Be Peaceful

The Coordinated Election Situation Room (ESR) is encouraging political parties to continue to prevail on their supporters to remain peaceful and law-abiding during the counting, tallying, and announcement of results.

The group is also calling on Liberians to refrain from any act that is likely to threaten the peace and security of the State in the post-election period.

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) organized the ESR as part of their contribution towards credible elections in Liberia, and it is doing so in collaboration with the National Center for the Coordination Response Mechanism (NCCRM), Peace Building Office (PBO), and ECOWAS, with funding from the European Union and its core partners of Sweden and Austria.

The ESR called on the Joint Security and NEC to swiftly launch investigation into other forms of electoral violence that breached the electoral law, to ensure deterrence.

According to ESR, it will continue to use its good offices and through backdoor channels to prevail on party supporters and leaders to eschew violence and maintain the peace.

“There was the presence of relevant election officials, Joint Security, and political parties’ poll watchers in most of the polling stations, even as the voting process was concluding. Additionally, youth and female participation was encouraging, with females representing 30-50 percent of voters, while youth constituted more than 50 percent,” the team said.

The ESR observers also reported that polling centers were accessible to all, including persons with disabilities (PWDs), the late opening of some polling centers; cases of distribution of food and campaigning during the voting process, and the absence of ballot papers at the start of the polls in some centers, which delayed the commencement of voting, among other things. 

The ESR observers reported that voting proceeded peacefully in the places they observed. However, there were isolated cases of verbal and physical attacks in some counties. “In Montserrado District 10, Polling Center #30306, Living Water Baptist School, a man was asked to leave the polling center by a security officer for campaigning for one of the parties, against the electoral rules.

In Nimba District 1, Center #33078, Foundation Academy, a voter attacked the ballot paper issuer for attempting to fold his ballot paper after voting, which led to a scuffle between two other voters, but security intervened and put the situation under control.

In Nimba District 1, Center #33073, YMCA High School, unidentified individuals allegedly attempted to prevent the Vice Standard Bearer of the UP, Senator Jeremiah Koung, from entering the polling center by hauling insults. But security immediately moved in and put the situation under control,” they noted.

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