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President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has issued Executive Order No. 65 ordering all concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia during the ensuing special elections, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades prohibited and for 30 days after the announcement of election results.
According to an Executive Mansion release, Executive Order No. 65, signed by the Liberian leader on December 3, 2014, is intended to strengthen the efforts of the Government of Liberia to contain the spread of Ebola, protect the security of the state, maintain law and order, and promote peace and stability in the country.
Executive Order No. 65 stated that the existing law requiring persons desiring to march or demonstrate to obtain prior permits from the Ministry of Justice have proven ineffective to address rallies, parades and concerted mass movements on the streets of Monrovia and its environs.
The government said it notes with concern the increasing number of incidents of concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia and its environs, including in particular rallies, demonstrations, and parades, which have led to persistent and frequent violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of Liberia, obstruction of the free flow of traffic and the movement of peaceful citizens, the disruption of economic activities, and concomitant panic in the City with total disregard of the consequences thereof.
The Executive Order indicated that to allow the said conduct to continue with impunity and without control, will frustrate efforts to contain the Ebola virus disease in Liberia, undermine the security of the state and the maintenance of law and order, and negatively impact the economy.
The government did not state any specific reference, however, on last Friday, senatorial candidate, Ambassador George Weah pulled a massive crowd when he launched his campaign in Monrovia. Ten of thousands of CDCians turned out in a clear show of support for Mr. Weah.