Sixteen Opposition Political Parties Join Forces to Safeguard Electoral Integrity Ahead of October Polls
Monrovia – In a significant move aimed at upholding the integrity of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, sixteen opposition political parties have collectively signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU outlines a comprehensive nine-point agreement that focuses on collaborative efforts to ensure transparent and credible electoral processes. The signing ceremony was attended by various political leaders and their chairpersons.
Among the key provisions agreed upon in the MOU are the joint training of poll watchers and the establishment of an independent poll-watching team. The opposition parties have also committed to presenting a united front at polling centers throughout Liberia, with a focus on cooperation to support opposition candidates in cases where a party does not have a representative.
Furthermore, the MOU mandates the opposition parties to create an independent “war room” responsible for aggregating election results from polling centers across the country, including the development of software for electronic result tracking. The establishment of a secretariat to oversee agreement drafting and joint activity implementation is also highlighted.
The agreement emphasizes that the opposition political parties will independently document and report instances of violence against opposition politicians, maintaining a dossier with evidence. The parties have additionally pledged to engage with the international community to address security concerns regarding the upcoming October 10 presidential and legislative elections.
Looking forward to a potential second round of elections, the opposition parties have committed to coordinating their strategies against the Coalition for Democratic Change.
Prior to the signing, Sara Beysolow-Nyanti, the standard bearer of the African Liberation League, underscored that the primary objective of this collaboration is to foster public trust in the electoral process by safeguarding votes. She urged unity among Liberians during these crucial elections.
She said: “Liberians need to be united and we have to plant the seed of unity in all directions, especially during these elections,” Madam Nyanti said. As of Sunday night, 16 opposition political parties have agreed to this MOU, and about eleven are on hand to sign as others are still reviewing the document and some are just too far for the campaign.”
Continuing, she said: “It is an opportunity to show to the Liberian people that we can work together because many believe that we can’t; but we can. The agreement calls for the establishment of a secretariat and will be comprised of each member of the opposition political parties and the door is still open for the willing.”
Alexander Cummings, standard bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), stressed the responsibility of President George Weah to ensure a free, fair, and transparent election. Cummings emphasized the need for cooperation among opposition parties to fund and implement the MOU’s provisions effectively.
“We, in the opposition have to verify or trust and we should not compete but cooperate and expressed the hope that all opposition political parties should whatever they to actualize the MOU by funding it.”
Counselor Taiwon Gongloe, standard bearer of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), called for transparent and credible elections to maintain national peace, emphasizing the importance of reflecting voters’ choices.
“Every step taken in the electoral process must be in an effort to unite the people around national interest because we know the history of this country always around the conduct of free, fair and inclusive elections.”
Alvin Brown, the standard bearer of the Liberia Restoration Party, highlighted the significance of cooperation in this endeavor, emphasizing the sanctity of protecting votes in a democratic society.
Reverend Luther Tarpeh, Chairman of the Unity Party, referred to the signing as a historic moment, expressing the collective objective of the opposition parties to address concerns about the current government’s direction. Tarpeh reiterated that the parties are competing against the current leadership, not each other.
The collaborative effort is expected to minimize the costs associated with recruiting poll watchers and set the pace for opposition unity should there be a runoff between the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and one of the opposition parties.