“A Good Beginning, Indeed! ECOM”
Posted April 30, 2004
Yesterday, the much-awaited induction ceremony of the seven-man independent Election Commission took place at the parlors of the Executive Mansion in Monrovia.
At the well-attended ceremony, the Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris, among other things, issued a strong warning when she called on political parties engaged in premature campaigning to desist or face the full weight of the election laws of the country.
She said, premature campaigning outside of the official schedule to be issued by the Election Commission for such activities, is a violation of Section 14 of the electoral guidelines of the country. Accordingly, she called on political parties that have displayed banners, posters, flyers and the portraits of presidential candidates at public places or buildings should immediately desist, threatening that any political party failing to comply with this directive within 48 hours, will face the full weight of the election laws.
NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant who also spoke at the ceremony promised his government’s fullest cooperation in the conduct of a free, fair and transparent elections. He said all the processes achieved thus far for peace to return to the country may be derailed if a democratic government does not succeed the National Transitional Government of Liberia.
We wholeheartedly welcome the comments of the NTGL Chairman and support the pronouncement of the Election Commission towards a free, fair and transparent elections. We believe the Commission’s position is a positive move and a good beginning to also ensure a level-playing field for all contestants during the pending presidential and general elections.
Against this background, it is imperative that political parties and some of their partisans as well as individuals who have been involved in premature campaigning desist and cooperate with the Election Commission by complying with the 48-hr ultimatum. Let it be known that the success of the process would not exclusively rest on the shoulders of the Commission, but all those concerned and involved.
This is why it is necessary that the call of the commission should not fall on deaf ears, but be taken seriously as a step in the right direction. Equally, we call on the public who at times, are used as political proteges and stooges by some individuals to pay heed to ECOM’s warning for a successful process.
We wholeheartedly welcome the new commission and urge them to live to the expectation of the people by ensuring that the process is free, fair and transparent and that no party is given preferential treatment .The Johnson-Morris Commission should learn from the past mistakes and take the necessary actions and steps to make the process credible.