The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and The Women’s Situation Room (WSR) have expressed deep concern about recent statement from the Secretary General of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), when he told a large gathering of partisans at their national party headquarters, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, to prepare for victory celebration ahead of the official pronouncement of results from the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The WSR and the LCC noted that the CDC Secretary General cannot be coming out to make a pronouncement of victory when the final tally of results has not been announced by the NEC and where 99% of the tally clearly states there will be a run-off election.
In his statement CDC Secretary General, Jefferson T. Koijee assured supporters that preparations for the inauguration scheduled for next January were well underway. “Let’s get ready for the inauguration. We want to celebrate like never before,” Koijee told supporters and partisans of the CDC during the victory celebration.
The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and the Women’s Situation Room see the CDC Secretary General’s victory remarks as premature and a source of provoking violence. “We are calling on him and other officials to wait until the final results are announced by the NEC. Even were NEC to announce a run-off, we must be cautious in proclaiming victory before NEC gives the final results,” the two institutions noted in a release.
“We call on the leadership of CDC to inform their partisans to desist from pre-celebration announcements, as it would contribute to sparking violence. At the same time the NEC must similarly take issue with the CDC and condemn the premature victory remarks.
“On 16 October 2023, the Liberia Council of Churches and the Women’s Situation Room of the Angie Brooks International Centre For Women Empowerment, Leadership Development, Peace & Security (ABIC) at a Press Conference issued a joint statement calling on the citizens of Liberia to remain calm and non-violent as we await the final announcement from the National Elections Commission (NEC) of the elections results,” their press release stated.
At the same time, they are urging the opposition Unity Party that was in the forefront of calling for a victory celebration before NEC announce the final results to desist from said pronouncement as it would be provocative and untimely as well as insightful contrary to their signatory of the Farmington River Declaration.
“We ask all political parties to not yield to provocative statements and continue to remain calm and non-violent. As we close, we want to take the opportunity to inform the NEC that they need to investigate and respond to the growing allegations of many issues that compromise the integrity of the data that is being put out in the public, real or imagined. After the acclamation of a peaceful election, we do not want to have aspersions cast on us,” the group noted.
“Lastly, we urge all those not satisfied with the results to pursue the legal mechanism as emphasized in our earlier Press Release, namely you can still file a complaint with the NEC Magistrate. If after you have had a hearing with the Magistrate and you do not agree with the Magistrate decision you can then file an appeal with the Board of NEC Commissioners to hear you. Then if you disagree with The Board of Commissioners, you can take your case to our Supreme Court. This is our law,” their statement concluded.