Liberia: Liberian papers harp on need for peaceful polls

Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) – Editorials in many Liberian dailies Thursday up played the need for Liberians to ensure that the country’s presidential and legislative elections are peaceful and transparent.    

The papers’ calls were against the backdrop of a few skirmishes among opposing partisans and the fact that this will be the first transfer of political power from one democratically-elected president to another in over seven decades.

Liberia has been rife with speculations fuelled by rumour mongering, spread of falsehoods, innuendos and half-truths intended to raise fear and lend lesser credence to the outcome of the presidential and legislative elections slated for 10 October 2017.
In its editorial titled, 'Election Violence Is Unwarranted', The News newspaper observed that there was no justification whatsoever for any group to see violence as a justification to solve problems.

“We call on all political parties and independent candidates in these elections to warn their supporters against violence because silence on their part would indicate approval of the action of their supporters,” the paper said, urging the election commission and national police to apply the law where required.

'The Inquirer', cautioning political parties, independent candidates and other unauthorized entities from announcing unofficial results, said it would be “the most dangerous thing that will ever happen to us as a nation and people.”

In its editorial, “Pleading With Political Parties,” the paper reminded Liberians that “election in Liberia has never been a child’s play and should therefore not be handled carelessly.”

'The New Dawn' editorial dwelt on individuals in the society it called “fear-mongers” to stop raising apprehensions about the credibility, transparency, and integrity of the elections that could spark chaos.

The editorial captioned “Let The Fear-Mongers Keep Silent,” stressed that “it behoves all peace-loving Liberians to work with the National Election Commission and international partners in making sure that the elections are conducted freely, impartially and peacefully, rather than engaging in fear-mongering...”

'The Analyst' newspaper editorial, titled “Liberians Deserve Nothing Less Than Violence-Free Elections,” noted that “it would be an understatement to say how much the nation and its people stand to gain in ensuring a violence-free election process.”

“This country is bigger than the parochial interest of a person or group of persons. There is a Liberia beyond election. It would be a folly to burn down the country or upset the peace just to give someone a job,” the paper pointed out.

In its editorial, 'The New Republic' opined that the call and desire for peace in Liberia today “cannot be clearer, louder and appealing than at this (election) time."

Titled “Echoing The Calls For Peace,” the paper said Liberia has had enough war, political instability, national disorder and anarchy to necessitate “resetting the button, recalibrating and reassessing the national agenda as Liberians go to the polls” on October 10.

For its part, 'The Women Voices'j said it was joining its voice to those of human rights organizations and other individuals in condemning clashes among political opponents and supporters of parties in some places.

“We believe that the people of this country are not prepared or willing to go back to war. The many years of war took away the lives of ten percent of the country’s population and destroyed millions of dollar worth of property.

“With this sad history, individuals seeking state power should not create scenes that will plunge the country into another round of bloodletting,” the paper advised in its editorial captioned “Attention Politicians! No room For Violence.”
-0- PANA PTK/AR 5Oct2017  

05 october 2017 18:50:46

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