“Be Nonviolent and Respect the Rights of Women” Civil Society Movement Warn Political Parties and Independent Candidates

Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, NCSCL Chairperson

Monrovia- The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) through its Chairpersonhas Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai has warned electoral stakeholders, mainly political parties and independent candidates, to approach the campaign with the construct of peace and nonviolence, ensuring that the rights of women participating in the process are guaranteed and respected from start to finish.

The campaign officially begins today August 5, 2023. NCSCL in a release reminds political actors to desist from engaging in acts that undermine the peace and tranquility of the state, including spewing hate messages against one another, inciting the youthful population to violence, and bullying women political candidates. NCSCL added that it will be bad if political parties and/or independent candidates incite their foot soldiers to damage the campaign paraphernalia of other candidates, issue comments and/or statements that are denigrating and meant to stair commotion in the process, and engage in practices that tend to scare and coward women into submission.

The Council strongly called on all traditional leaders across Liberia not to indulge in the use of tradition as an alibi to chase out women and non-society members from the campaign and electioneering processes, as doing so would amount to an infringement of the law that is punishable under Liberia’s jurisprudence. “There has to be a dichotomy between tradition and politics in a way that the tradition is not used to bully others but to protect and defend the space for the free participation of all regardless of sex, gender, and ideas. Tradition must be used as a strong supportive glue that ups the maximum feasible participation of everyone and does not mess up the game,” Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai stated in release.

According to NCSCL through its Chairperson Pope-Kai, elections are not about enmity but a contestation of ideas over the handling of issues that matter to the electorates and the general welfare of the people and the country. As such, expressing how best to deal with the problems that have almost perennially bedeviled the country and its people should not be characterized by violent outbursts, dirty politics, and shrewd machinations orchestrated to outmaneuver those who sincerely play to the rules of the game.

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