28 October 2011

Liberia: Ecowas Reacts to CDC's Threat to Boycott Presidential Run-Off Election in Liberia

Photo: Staton Winter/UNMIL
A voter casts his ballot in Monrovia.

press release

Abuja — The ECOWAS Commission has received with deep concern news of the decision by the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the main opposition party in Liberia, led by Mr. Winston Tubman, to pull out of the country's 8th November 2011 presidential run-off election, if the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mr. James Fromayan, is not replaced.

The unfortunate statement comes against the backdrop of several futile efforts by ECOWAS to persuade the leadership of the CDC and other opposition parties to remain in the electoral process until its successful conclusion, and to refrain from all acts capable of destabilizing the fragile political and security environment. The ECOWAS Commission wishes to make yet another appeal to the leadership of the CDC, and indeed all political parties in Liberia, to place the national interest above all partisan considerations and to ensure a peaceful electoral process for the sake of national and regional stability. The Commission further urges any party with any grievances to seek redress through the laid down legal channels for the resolution of electoral disputes. Failure to pursue this course would mean that such an aggrieved party lacks any tangible evidence to press their case.

The ECOWAS Commission would like to make it abundantly clear to the CDC and all Liberians that the run-off election will go ahead as planned, and if the process is adjudged by the competent authorities, and certified by credible observers, to be transparent, free and credible, ECOWAS will recognize whoever emerges as President. The Commission finally wishes to put on guard all those who may harbour any temptation to disturb the fragile peace in Liberia that ECOWAS will take all appropriate measures to preserve stability in the country, and in strict compliance with the organization's resolve never to recognize any accession to power through unconstitutional means.

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