ZAMBOANGA City, April 19, 2013—Candidates vying for local government posts in this city have signed a covenant with the Silsilah Dialogue Movement for the conduct of harmonious polls next month.
Although the Silsilah Dialogue Movement claims to be non-partisan, it nevertheless gathered local candidates for a presentation of the concept of leadership from Islamic, Christian and Christian and Buddhist perspectives as part of its celebration of the Interfaith Harmony Week.
The speakers of the gathering last January 31 focused their presentations on concepts of leadership as referred to by relevant quotations from the respective holy books or traditions of Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. The activity culminated with a signing of a covenant for the conduct of election campaign.
“Now, nearly 10 weeks after the signing ceremony and deep into the campaign for the May 13 elections, the candidates are reminded of the covenant they signed,” the Silsilah Dialogue Movement said in a statement.
“Electoral victory is the aspiration of all the candidates but only a specific number can attain their aspiration as expressed by the people’s will through their ballots. Harmony is a good in itself but this is also a good that can generate other good. The ideal of harmony can guide how the candidates conduct themselves to ensure a peaceful election,” it added.
The Silsilah Dialogue Movement likewise issued an interfaith prayer for the candidates for local and national elective posts. The Prayer for the Candidates is as follows:
Prayer for the Candidates
Almighty God, you have called each of us to a specific role in life. Fathers and Mothers to be the leaders in the family; priests and imams and monks to be leaders in our religious practice; teachers to be leaders in schools; and political leaders in the exercise of our duties and our expectations as citizens of our country.
Almighty God, you have planted in us the seed of freedom in the exercise of our political rights. It is our belief, Almighty God, that your will is expressed when the will of the people is allowed free and unhampered expressions.
We pray, Lord God that in the campaign for the upcoming election the candi- dates will speak the truth, that they will not attempt to exploit the circum- stances of voters so as to gain advantage for themselves, that they will seek to conduct a peaceful campaign that will allow the full exercise of freedom of choice by the voters.
And when the winners shall have been identified, Lord God, we pray that they will reaffirm their victories as your call to them to serve you and your people – serve devotedly, serve diligently and serve generously. We pray that you shower them with grace that they may serve you and your people well for the many responsibilities that will be theirs.
Hewing to your love and example, nothing is impossible. (KB/CBCPNews)