Integrity Watch Liberia is accusing the country’ s two main political parties of breaching campaign finance regulations as they canvass for votes in the 2023 presidential elections.
The governance watchdog said the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and the opposition Unity Party carry the highest score in relation to violating rules on campaign spending.
Regarding abuse of incumbency, the group Executive Director Harold Aidoo said the Coalition for Democratic Change’s reported violations amounted to 60, followed by the Unity Party with 20 while the Collaborating Political Parties ranked between 10 and 20.
Under Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Disclosure by parties, both the CDC and Unity Party ranked neck-to-neck falling between 60 and 50 on the graph, while under Public Non-Disclosure by parties, the UP ranked 50 followed by the CDC and CPP falling between 30 and 40.
Aidoo said on October 4, 2023, the CDC senatorial candidate in Grand Bassa County, Janjay Baikpeh allegedly used the Bassa High School to campaign during school hours.
“All the students converged outside and were made to dance and chant CDC songs slogans,” he added.
“Assistant Director for Human Resources Planning and Policies at the Ministry of Education, Candidate Monibah E. N. Sheriff used the Ministry of Health vehicle for his campaign activities in Golo Konneh District, Grand Cape Mount County,” he noted.
The Integrity Watch Liberia Boss also stressed that the Director for Economic Statistics at the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, candidate Boima H. M. Sonii, allegedly used the institution’s vehicle for his campaign activities in Grand Cape Mount County Electoral District Two.
He reported that Mosses N. Dologbay, County Education Officer had CDC stickers on his official MoE vehicle and used it for campaign in Nimba County.
“In River Gee, MOH Vehicles paid for with donor funding was used for campaign for the CDC at a campaign rally.
The civil society actor also averred that the New Georgia Township Commissioner’s office in Montserrado County was allegedly used as Zone 1-5 campaign office for the county incumbent senator, Saah H. Joseph.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator Christine Umutoni said campaign finance is key in promoting democratic processes and sustainable development.
The findings were displayed before the media, representatives of the National Elections Commission, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, and international partners including the United Nations Resident Coordinator Christine Umutoni, UNDP, and UN Women among others.
At the ceremony held at a local hotel in Monrovia over the weekend, the Executive Director of IWL, Harold Aidoo said the endeavor was made possible through the “Strengthening Political Accountability Project (SPAP)”.