With Liberians gearing up for the runoff elections which is expected to be held on November 14, 2023, the Rural Human Rights Activists Programme (RHRAP) has expressed dismay over the high percentage of invalid votes which constitutes 114,597 of the total vote cast.
Addressing a news conference Wednesday, RHRAP Executive Director, Lorma Baysah noted that based on the high percentage of the invalid votes cast clearly indicates that adequate education and awareness was not prioritized by the
National Election Commission (NEC).
According to Director Baysah, as Liberians prepare for the runoff, they are appealing to the NEC, government of Liberia and the international community to fund Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to quickly engage in awareness activities and educate Liberians on how to vote prior to the runoff.
He said with this rigorous awareness activity, the number of invalid votes will reduce across the country during the runoff.
RHRAP through it Executive Director also admonished media entities operating in
Liberia to engage in meaningful media activities that seeks to combat disinformation and violence messages to reduce tensions as Liberians embark on the runoff.
Mr. Baysah strongly recommended that the NEC increase its speed in adequately engaging all political players including the incumbent government to do those things that are necessary to maintain Liberia’s democracy.
“With huge support at various levels including funding from the international community, Liberia is gradually moving towards stability with huge democratic gains. Do not sit for Liberia’s democracy to retrogress; this is a critical period for Liberia’s democracy and you must act now before it is too late,” RHRAP Executive Director, Baysah averred.
On other issues, RHRAP said it has noticed that Liberia’s democracy has taken tribal lines going back to the 1980’s looking at various variables including pronouncements made by citizens and politicians which is very scary.
Liberians should be reminded about those vices that contributed to the outbreak of the bloody civil war in Liberia that claimed the lives of over 250,000.
“We must fight to avert any violent conflict and this can be done by doing the right thing that is free, fair, transparent and participatory elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, RHRAP through its Executive Director has commanded the people of Liberia and joint security for their meaningful roles played during the elections.
However, he said the police, court and the National Elections Commission (NEC) must do all they can in diligently performing their respective duties as required for by Law which will contribute to the restoration of Liberia’s democracy.