By Stephen G. Fellajuah
With barely a year to the conduct of the fast-approaching 2023 presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) on Friday, January 6, 2023, accredited the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) as a full-fledged political party in the country.
The ceremony took place in the James Fromayan conference hall of the National Elections Commission at its headquarters on 9th Street in Monrovia. .
In her welcoming statement, Cllr. Ernestine Morgan- Awar, Commissioner of the NEC admonished the EFFL to impact the Commission in a positive way and ensure that they adhere to the difference benchmarks set by the electoral body.
“We have to be strict that you uphold to our rules and procedures so that we too can ensure that the Liberian people have the proper system of governance”, Cllr. Morgan- Awar accentuated.
Making the presentation of certificate and accreditation, Chairperson Mrs. Davidetta Browne Lasannah of the NEC said few months ago the Commission received an application of intent from the Executive Committee of the proposed Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) expressing interest to form apolitical party under the 1986 Constitution of Liberia and the new election law of Liberia.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Commission wishes to congratulate the organizing committee of the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL).
“I am also pleased to inform you that following a thorough and in-depth procees, the Commission has no alternative when a group of Liberians meet the minimum requirement for the establishment of a political party but to follow the law and register these group of Liberians”, she stated.
In adherence to the law, the NEC Chairperson challenged the Executive Committee and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFFL) to use the election law and Constitution of Liberia as their basis of operation in the country.
Reading the inscription on the certificate, Madam Browne Lasannah said, “This is to certified that the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), has fulfilled all the requirements for registration as a political parties as provided for in the Constitution of Liberia and the NEC guidelines and regulations, relating to the formation and registration of political parties to operate within the Republic of Liberia.
For so during, the National Elections Commission of Liberia hereby declare and accredit the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) as a duly registered political party with all the rights and privileges”, she declared.
In his response, the Chairman of the organizing committee of the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), Mr. Emmanuel Gonquoi said it was an honor for the EFFL to be certificated by the NEC and assured that the party will do all it can as a political institution to abide by the rules and regulations governing political parties in the country as well as respect the Constitution of Liberia.
He said the EFFL looks forward to working with the Board of Commission so that together the party can communicate a positive image of the country, saying the party is made of good citizens who want to see change.
The accreditation of the EFFL brings to 25 the number of political parties in Liberia.
Political parties in Liberia are: New certificated National Democratic Alliance (NDA), All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), All Liberian Party (ALP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), Change Democratic Actopm (CDA), Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), National Patriotic Party (NPP), Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), Coalition for Liberia’s Progress (CLP), Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT) and Grassroot Democratic Party of Liberia (GDPL).
Others include: Liberia Transformation Party (LTP), Liberian National Union (LINU), Liberty Party(LP), Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Movement for One Liberia (MOL) and Movement for Progressive Change (MPC).
The rest include: National Democratic Coalition (NDC), New Liberia Party (NLP), People’s Unification Party (PUP), True Whig Party (TWP), Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD), United People’s Party (UPP), Unity Party (UP), Victory for Change (VCP).
The EFFL was established as an ideological pressure movement advocating for the economic emancipation of Liberia and its citizens shortly after the inauguration of President George Manneh Weah.
It gained prominence when it joined ranks with others to stage the “Bring Back Our Money” Protest in September 2018. The protest was intended to draw attention and seek punitive actions towards the mysterious disappearance of L$16billion from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
The group also participated in the June 7, 2019 “Save The State” protest, demanding the government to tackle corruption, economic mismanagement, injustice and nepotism, among others.
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