Ahead of Liberia’s general and presidential elections in October, five radio stations in the country have entered into an agreement with Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, to promote accurate election reporting.
The stations are Ablee-jay Radio in Buchanan, Grand Bassa; Alternative Youth Radio in Zorzor, Lofa; Radio Kergheamahn in Ganta, Nimba; Radio Gbarnga in Bong County, and Ok FM in Monrovia, Montserrado.
The selected radio stations will provide accurate, independent, and credible information to thousands of Liberians on the electoral and governance processes of the nation. The partnership with the five media institutions is expected to run for a year with the possibility to renew based on performance.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Naymote Executive Director, Eddie D. Jarwolo said the media is essential to democracy, and a democratic election is impossible without the independent media.
He said a free and fair election is not only about the freedom to vote and the knowledge of how to cast a vote, but it is also about a participatory process where voters engage in public debates and have adequate information about parties, policies, candidates and the election process itself in order to make informed choices.
He added that the role of civil society in elections is particularly crucial given its strategic place in educating citizens on electoral processes, as well as monitoring and providing early warning on electoral malfeasance including, vote buying, corruption, marginalization, exclusion of certain stakeholders, etc. He called on Liberians to register and be qualified to vote as well as be politically tolerant and focus more on those issues that matter most to them and vote for their future.
Jarwolo appreciated the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for the grant awarded to Naymote Partners for Democratic Development to contribute towards Liberia’s democracy enhancement. He, however, stressed that the airing of the program is directly the responsibility of Naymote, as SIDA will not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretation of the program.
Speaking on behalf of the radio stations, Nyan Flomo, Station Manager of Radio Kergheamahn said they appreciate the partnership with Naymote and promised that they are going to contribute to the country’s democratic process as the community radio stations have a critical role to promote peace and prevent violence by providing accurate, timely, and independent information to the public.