WIMAGE IN FULL ATTENDANCE IN LIBERIA OBSERVING TODAY’S CRUCIAL ELECTIONS
By KABS KANU, Public Relations and Communications Manager
WIMAGE ( Women in Auditing and monitoring Global Elections ) —the internationally-based elections observer team with headquarters in Washington DC, USA– are in full attendance in Liberia, where they are observing crucial presidential, legislative and council elections.
Cognizant of the fact that effective monitoring and observations of elections start well before the day of polling , the WIMAGE team of observers arrived in Monrovia last week and have been observing the structures put in place by the Liberian government and the Elections Commission to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country.
According to the DAILY OBSERVER newspaper, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has provided full assurance to all political parties and candidates “that it will conduct the 2023 elections in a free, fair, and credible manner, as it has been the hallmark of this institution. ” NEC Chairperson, Mrs. Davidetta Brown Lansanah, told the media and all parties concerned in a press conference yesterday in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, that the commission ” remains committed to ensuring that the elections are conducted peacefully.” There have however been violent clashes between supporters of opposing parties in some parts of the country, though not widespread.
WIMAGE’s coordinator in Liberia, Madam Hawa Varney, a former employee of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and a strong civil society activist, said that Wimage has deployed monitors and observers in the country. WIMAGE was fully accredited by the NEC to monitor the elections and members dressed in WIMAGE t-shirts and identification tags will make their presence felt across Liberia during the electoral process.
Madam Varney said also that, as is the practice of WIMAGE wherever it monitors elections, volunteers have been trained and given top-flight knowledge about what is expected of elections monitors and observers.
Among those aspiring to win the elections and replace incumbent President George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change ( CDC) at the Executive Mansion are former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity party , who has formed an alliance with the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), founded by former warlord-turned-senator Prince Johnson. ; Mr. Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress ( ANC ) ; Human Rights Lawyer and a professor of law, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party ( LPP) , and Dr. Clarence Moniba of the Liberia National Union.
Madam Khadija Sesay, the founder and CEO of WIMAGE has said that the observer team is also in top gear to monitor the forthcoming elections in Madagascar on November 9 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on December 20. She has also disclosed that WIMAGE will be celebrating International Women’s Day in Kenya on March 8, 2024. While expressing optimism that every WIMAGE member will attend the program in Nairobi, Madam Sesay also announced WIMAGE will hold the program in different countries every year.