7 November 2012

Liberia: LCC Calms Nerves -Extracts Commitments from Govt, CDC for Peaceful Assembly Today

Liberia's Christian leaders, as their tradition has been, have come out yet again to reconcile belligerent political actors holding extremist positions and beating war drums. The country's largest opposition party, CDC, and Government were locked up in standoff over whether or not it is prudent for the former to hold a political rally pursuant to constitutionally sanctioned right to peaceful elections but there are worries about an extremely fragile security situation and the CDC's history of violent assemblies. Reflecting on a similar incident in 1979 that rocked the stability of the nation, the Liberia Council Churches arranged a meeting yesterday between Government and the CDC to broker a way out, with the government conceding to the CDC holding the planned memorial day celebration today while the CDC promised to eschewed what many skeptics, including Government had feared: unleashing bands of ruffians in the streets that could upset sanity and security. The LCC issues a release from the meeting, as The Analyst reports.

The Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) says it has resolved the raging stalemate that has got the nation on edge in the last few days.

The standoff had come from plans by the CDC to observe the day, November 7, on which its members were shot dead by state security forces last year during the presidential elections of 2011; a plan opposed by Government on account that such an assembly to open old wounds and trigger a melee.

The CDC has contended that it has got the constitutional right to assemble as a political party and the government is contending that it is under obligation to preserve the fragile peace of the country.

The deadlock grew into harsh verbal exchanges between officials of the Ministry of Justice responsible for public safety and the Congress for Democratic Change.

But according to the Liberia Council of Churches, it has secured an agreement during a meeting chaired by the Honorable Christiana Tah, Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia, at the Ministry of Justice in Monrovia involving the Ministry of Justice and the CDC.

The LCC says it sees this agreement as being timely and responsible and is pleased that both the Ministry of Justice and Congress for Democratic Change during the discussions emphasized the need to maintain peace, and showed preparedness to work to consolidate stability and democracy, in the country.

A LCC release indicated that the CDC has assured the people of Liberia during the meeting that its gathering will be non-violent and peaceful while the Government of Liberia promised to provide security for the peaceful assembly of the CDC and the general public.

CDC, the LCC revealed, re-iterated its decision not to march in the streets but to assemble at their headquarters for the memorial program.

"We wish to congratulate the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) for resolving the stand-off which had developed between the both sides over the CDC plan to memorialize the reported November 7th death of a partisan of the CDC," the LCC added.

The Council is calling all Liberians to remain calm and hopeful, and reminds both the Ministry of Justice and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) that both the Council of Churches and the People of Liberia look forward to the Ministry of Justice and the CDC living up to their commitment reached today as the Council of Churches will be observing the commitments from both sides.

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