Mr. Alfred Sieh, Chair on ALCOD’s Exploratory Committee on Out-of-Country Voting is in Liberia to explore ways for diaspora Liberians to vote in the October 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections
Liberians in the diaspora are doing all to fully participate in the October 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections by casting their votes in their present places of residences outside Liberia.
Liberians are set to go to the pools in October 2023 to vote for the President and lawmakers. It is in those elections and going forward that diaspora Liberians want to be actively involved by casting their ballots in the respective places of residences.
“So, after the signing of the Dual Citizenship Bill, Liberians in the diaspora are interested in participating in the elections come October, 2023. We all know that since December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution making the right to vote a human right. We are blessed that the 1986 Constitution, Article 80 Section ‘C’ states among other things that one can vote in person or you can do absentee voting,” Mr. Alfred Sieh, Chair on ALCOD’s Exploratory Committee on Out-of-Country Voting said.
He further stated the “absentee voting” provides them (diaspora Liberians) the guarantee that they can vote from their places of residences around the world.
In order to achieve this new campaign that diaspora Liberians have begun, Mr. Sieh, is in Liberian to begin exploring ways under which this campaign can be realized as forming an integral part of the National Elections Committee (NEC) processes leading towards the successful hosting of the elections in 2023.
This new campaign that Mr. Sieh is heading is under the auspices of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), including The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Liberian Advocacy for Change (LAFC), Federation of Liberia Communities in Australia (FOLICA), United Liberian Association of Ghana (ULAG), Liberian Association of Canada (LAC), and Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States of America (COLOSUS). ALCOD represents over 500,000 Liberians living in the diaspora. This figure was obtained during the last census that was done in 1996.
This new campaign comes weeks following the signing into law by President George Manneh Weah, the new Dual Citizenship bill, which grants certain rights and privileges. This newspaper doesn’t yet know if the right or privilege to vote outside of Liberia is not enshrined in the new law that the President approved by affixing his signature to it on July 22, 2022. It was printed into handbill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 25, 2022, thus officially making it a law of the land. Both chambers of the Legislature had passed the bill on July 19, 2022.
Mr. Sieh, Wednesday, September 7, disclosed that he has hit the ground running by planning several meetings with key stakeholders on elections matters in the country. He also said that he will be holding meetings, too, with other national stakeholders in areas that have to do with diaspora Liberians’ welfare.
He named the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Finance and Development Planning as some of the major Government of Liberia’s institutions that he will pay courtesy calls on their heads.
He also disclosed that before he came to Liberia, he had established contacts with the International Foundation for Elections System (IFES), which told him that currently they don’t have any operations in Liberia and that they will be willing to come in and work along with the NEC in finding ways to meet desire of diaspora Liberians.
He disclosed that he also made contacts with the Carter Center, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute and all showed willingness to come and help in the process.
“So we have the international support that if the Elections Commission agrees to work with us, we can all source the resources from these institutions to create the good mechanism for the elections,” the ALCOD’s Chair on the Exploratory Committee on Out-of-Country Voting, said.