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Around The Country: Updates From Five Counties – November 16, 2020

Stay informed with happenings in your county, follow LocalVoicesLiberia every week day for the latest update on the Special Senatorial elections, COVID-19 and other important developments.


Bomi County: Snowe Pushes for Referendum Postponement


Rep. Snowe is also a candidate in the upcoming special Senatorial elections for Bomi County


Senjeh District Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe has added his voice to the many voices calling for the cancellation of the pending Constitution referendum.

Giving reasons for his position, the lawmaker said: “We have not done proper awareness about the issue of the referendum and our people need to be well informed about the process. Changing the constitution is a serious issue so awareness needs to be done.”

Snowe, who is seeking election in the Bomi County Special Senatorial Election, added that the referendum is structured in a way that propositions about the tenure of elected officials are clustered, something he sees as problem.

“The referendum is structured in a way that propositions about the tenure positions are cluster; each should carry a separate line which will allow voters to vote for the tenure of their choice,” he said recently in Tubmanburg, where he also called on his supporters to vote against all propositions on election day.

Grand Cape Mount County: Residents Slam Poor Awareness of Referendum


Many participants at the forum called for the postponement of the Constitution Referendum | Photo By: Jenneh Kemokai


People of Grand Cape Mount County has described the pending referendum as untimely. They were speaking at a community media forum organized by the Centre for Media Studies and Peace Building with funding from USAID through Internews.

The event held in Sinje Town brought together over 100 participants with participants calling for the postponement of the referendum to 2023.

There is no education on the preposition and the citizens do not understand the true meaning of the 2020 referendum, said County peace committee Chairman, Mr. Zuana Kapaka.

Kapala argued that the National Elections Commission is rushing the referendum although it has not conducted adequate Civic Voters Education.

Musa Manoba, a resident of Sinje Town who attended the forum, added: “We as the common people who don’t go to school don’t understand anything on this referendum symbol and so we will not go around it during the elections day   program”.

Another resident, Juah Williams said the referendum “is not in the interests of the citizens but the legislator”, alleging that they want to change the Constitution to suit them.

She said limiting the powers of the president including not to appoint the Chair of NEC, and not allowing the Elections Commission to adjudicate cases against the commission were important issues that were ignored by the legislature.

For his part, the Sinje Town youth chair asserts: “We the youth of Sinje don’t understand anything concerning the referendum and we need more education and time is short for the referendum [to be held] so this is going to be just a waste of the country resources.”


Bong County: Election Magistrate Cautions Journalists

Daniel G. Newland, Bong County Senior Election Magistrate, is appealing to journalists and media institutions to desist from airing stories that have the propensity of causing confusion among citizens.

Magistrate Newland emphasized that journalists’ reportage will determine the maintenance of peace and increase citizens’ appetite to follow the activities of the media.

“We depend on you because you are the ones who bring out the truth and always keep the Commission on its feet,” he said recently on Radio Gbarnga during a telephone interview.

He added that despite the challenges confronting the Liberian media, professionalism should be maintained to inform the public adequately on issues relating to the pending senatorial elections.

Mr. Newland believes that “election is a bridge between peace and violence” and as such journalists and citizens must ensure that the peace is kept.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Newland repeated calls to political parties, coalitions, alliances, independent candidates, and their supporters to be “very civil and non-violent during the entire electoral process”.


Grand Kru County: A Call to Make ‘Meaningful Decision’ on December 8



While many Liberians continue to call for the postponement or cancellation of the pending Constitution Referendum, others have begun creating awareness.

Prince Sieh, a resident of Barclayville, has embarked on explaining to his “Christian brothers and sisters about the importance of the Referendum including the meanings of the three prepositions”.

Sieh called on citizens to make the rightful decision which will “make a great impact and bring up more development”.

“Let’s make a meaningful decision, vote the person who you think will make a change to put this county on the map in terms of development like other counties in Liberia; we must not be carried away by little of nothing but making a rightful choice,” he said, warning against voting on tribal grounds.

“Everyone has their interest in the midterm elections but let us vote the individual based upon what he has done for the community. Don’t vote because you speak the same dialect [language] or based upon the close relationship your share”.

He added: “As we approach this midterm elections, peace must be among we the citizens; elections must not bring up separation because after this election every one of us will become one body — same Grand kru citizens”.


Gbarpolu County: Christian Community Ends Special Prayer for Peaceful Election.


Pastor Aaron Dardue speaking during a event to offer prayer for the peaceful conduct of the special senatorial election | Photo By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.


With less than four weeks to the December 8 Special Senatorial Election and Constitution Referendum, the Gbarpolu County Christian Community Network over the weekend completed a six-day fast and prayer in Bopolu City.

The event started on November 4 and sought “God’s continued guidance for people who are seeking elected post” with the final day of the activities attracting several hundreds of people.

The preacher on the final day event, Pastor Aaron Dardue offered special prayer for the voters and the National Elections Commission, calling on God to ensure the elections are void of violence. He called on everyone to be peaceful during this political period.


This content sharing initiative is supported by Internews under the Liberia Media Development program, with funding from USAID-Liberia. However, these contents are gathered and published independently by Local Voices Liberia, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funder.


 

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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