On Sunday, October 8, 2023, there was a violent riot along the Japanese Freeway between supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of George M. Weah and the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) of Lusinee F. Kamara.
According to live media reports, the clash occurred when members of the CDC who were closing their campaign rallies met with supporters of ALCOP at their campaign launch.
Even though the reason behind the tension that later escalated and brought districts 13 and 12 in Montserrado County to a standstill is yet to be established, there are “deaths” and injuries that were seen live.
The Unity Party is the leading opposition to the CDC, and they have been accused of wearing ALCOP’s paraphernalia to instigate the clash on Sunday.
Some social media users with the claim include Shine Liberia, a social media blog with 181K followers. The post attracted 132 comments and 92 reactions.
We also spotted Johnnie Scientific Gbayelakpor saying, “Today, some partisans from Unity Party wore ALCOP t-shirts and killed peaceful cdcians. Joseph Boakai’s plan to end Liberia won’t work.“
his post attracted 40 comments and 15 reactions.
Screenshot of Gbayelakpor’s post
The National Elections Commission (NEC) certified ALCOP as a separate political party after meeting all of the requirements set up by the party; they were certificated by the commission to participate in the October 10 election.
Musa MB Kanneh is a representative candidate on the ticket of ALCOP in Montserrado County District Two and he wrote these lines on his social media page stating, “We were in jubilant mood at the Campaign headquarters when we were attacked by the guys from the CDC. My dance moves immediately turned into protecting myself and my supporters….Have a smile in the face of challenges Watch my moves
NEC candidate’s listing
What NEC Guidelines Say About Campaign Activities?
According to the NEC elections guidelines issued in June 2023, title, “2023 Campaign Guidelines,” a Party/Candidate shall notify the Commission, in writing (not later than 7 days to the commencement of its campaign activities), of its schedule of campaign stating the date, time, and venue.
The Guideline also noted that “not more than one Party/Candidate shall hold campaign events at the same venue and time. To avoid a possible conflict, all candidates appearing on the final listing of candidates are required to submit their campaign schedules to the Commission. Where there is conflict in the date, venue, or timing of the activities of opposing candidates/political parties, the Commission shall consider several factors, including the time a party/candidate’s schedule was received, in determining which party/candidate may be given preference,”
With the above guidelines, TSM contacted Henry Flomo, NEC’s Communication director to understand which of those political parties involved in the violent tension on October 8 communicated with the commission about their campaign activities across Montserrado.
TSM is also interested to know how two parties have an event on the same day, but Flomo has yet to respond to the WhatsApp message sent to him and calls but after a few seconds of ringing, the call was declined. When he responds the article will be updated.
Screenshot of the communication that was sent to NEC communication’s director
Conclusion: With the research done, there is no available data that links the violent Sunday clash between ALCOP and CDC to the Unity Party.