Liberia’s Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Cape Palmas, Andrew J. Karnley has directed the faithful not to accept gifts from politicians seeking their vote.
On 25 October 2017, Liberians will vote in Presidential and Legislative elections across the country. Africa’s first female President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who has led the country for the past ten years is not seeking a further mandate.
Below is an article by Michael T. Biddle (Harper, Liberia):
'No parish in the Diocese of Cape Palmas is to accept a gift from politicians, Bishop Andrew Karnley has urged the faithful.
The tendency of offering individuals or a community with gifts in return for voting favours by politicians has since become a normal phenomenon in our society which has often made eligible voters elect individuals into power wrongly. It is against such factors that the Catholic Bishop of Cape Palmas has issued a stern warning to all parishes (in his diocese) to desist from receiving offers from politicians even those aspirants who are Catholics.
Bishop Karnley has in the past lashed out at political figures who have failed to provide good and quality leadership for the people. He has criticised the tendency of politicians who make last minute interventions (including donations and gifts) to win votes.
The Bishop of Cape Palmas reminded Liberians to make the ultimate sacrifice and vote for individuals who they believe can change their living conditions for the better rather dancing to the rhythm of those that can offer 'nasonon' or RITCO/NICOM products and rice. (RITCO and NICOM are large distillery factories in Liberia)
Ahead of the start of official campaigning, both incumbents and aspirants are often seen providing cash, food, drinks and other handouts to various communities as means of consolidating support during the elections.