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  • Writer's pictureTamba Aghailas

Massive Voter Turnout in Liberia’s Presidential Elections after Campaign Violence

October 10, 2023

Monrovia, Liberia: There are reports of massive voter turnout across the country as Liberians vote for the next president and members of the legislature.

From Facebook posts, live videos, and stories by Frontpage Africa, Liberians have come out to large numbers and long queues began to form since 2:00am local time. The excitement and rush to vote have caused chaos in a few polling centers around Monrovia and long lines have been reported across multiple polling precincts across the country.

Voters line up to vote at Bong Mines outside Monrovia.

Current President George Manneh Weah who was elected in 2017 is looking for a second six-year term. His main challenger, Former Vice President, Joseph Nyumah Boakai and his Unity Party allies seem to have found the momentum over the last several months during their campaign rallies.

Voters queue at a polling center in Monrovia

There have been chants from both camps about a first-round victory; something we have not seen in Liberia since the end of the one-party state in 1980 and the first general elections in 1985.

Recent violence in Foya City, Lofa County and in Central Monrovia!

Violence broke out on Friday, September 29, 2023 during a campaign rally in Foya City, Lofa County, a place seen as a Unity Party stronghold. The violence started as UP members marched from one section of the town (Mendikorma Road) towards central town, when stones were reportedly thrown. This led to an outbreak of fighting and exchange of violent blows, sticks, and gunshots. Two young men were reportedly killed and dozens were wounded.

Similarly on October 8, 2023, violence erupted along the Japanese Highway (former Somalia Drive) during the ruling party’s final campaign rally in Monrovia. According to reports, a minor political party, ALCOP, supporters clashed with CDC-ruling partisans as shots were fired. Once person was reported to have been killed during the violent altercations.

Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. It is saddening and unfortunate to see young men and women losing their lives in the name of party mandate or political militancy. May their souls rest in peace.

Political leaders of the two rival parties traded blame for the violence and accused each of other of undermining the democratic process.

The People of Liberia at large must never resort to violence to settle political scores. Elections come and go, but the people shall always remain.

It is therefore incumbent upon all Liberians to strive for peace during these general and presidential elections.

Without peaceful coexistence and if care is not taken, Liberia's violent past of rebel gangs and lawlessness may befall the nation once again.

We call on the president of Liberia, HE George Weah and all political party leaders to tune down the rhetoric that has characterized this year's campaign activities and to speak to their members and militants on the dangers of violence.

As citizens go out to vote on October 10th, they must do so in an orderly and peaceful manner and allow the NEC officials to do their job.

May God save the state!

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