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Political Campaign Opens In Liberia

Political Campaign Opens In Liberia, Un Peacekeeping Mission Says

New York, Aug 16 2005

The head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Alan Doss, arrived today in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, shortly after the political campaigning leading to the October elections in Liberia was launched.

“I am delighted to be here and I am looking forward to getting to know Liberia, working with the authorities and people, and of course our United Nations mission and other partners here,” Mr. Doss, who replaces Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) Jacques Paul Klein, said in his greeting.

UNMIL is providing technical assistance for the nationwide poll as part of its wide-ranging mandate.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) said over the week-end that a total of 762 candidates are vying for presidential and legislative positions. Of this figure, 22 are presidential candidates, 22 are vice-presidential candidates, 206 are Senatorial candidates and 512 are candidates for the House of Representatives, UNMIL said.

NEC chairperson Francis Johnson-Morris officially opened the political campaign period yesterday for the scheduled 11 October national elections, it said.

Ms. Johnson-Morris called on all the candidates to engage in only non-violent campaigning during the period ending 9 October because certain partisans already had torn down the posters of opposing political parties.

“NEC will not hesitate to revoke the registration certificate of any political party whose partisans and supporters are found in such unwholesome activities. This is not the period for lawlessness,” she said.

“Candidates are strongly urged to desist from disrupting other candidates’ campaign activities, damaging, or destroying campaign materials of other candidates, carrying arms or any other offensive weapons at any activity, engaging or employing other individuals for the purpose of violence, intimidation, or harassment of other candidates, or their supporters, or using abusive, profane or inflammatory language against other candidates,” she added.

ENDS

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