President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the upcoming presidential and representative elections as defining moment for Liberia.
"I just want to say to all of you - whether you who are leaders, advisors, employees and consultants; that these elections will be a defining moment for our country," she stressed.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement Monday at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission on 9th Street, Sinkor when she commissioned the Executive Director of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Mr. Larmin Lighe.
President Sirleaf said the elections will determine whether Liberia goes forward and continues to rebuild, reconstruct and promote democracy "or whether we opt to see things going back. She emphasized the importance of the elections particularly for those who have responsibilities at the level of the National Elections Commission (NEC)."
"We have been very clear in saying that this is one time we want total confidence in the elections; and that means you must be neutral, as the population prepares to exercise their constitutional rights at the polls," she stressed.
The Liberian leader underscored that free, fair and transparent elections set the stage for Liberia to continue on the path of democracy, thus enabling the country to remain on the road to peace.
She added that the elections are supported by the Government of Liberia in spite of difficult financial strain being experienced. She noted Liberia did not get the kind of support anticipated from partners for the 2017 elections.
However, she reiterated government's continued support to free, fair and credible elections.
Speaking further, President Sirleaf commended NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah and team and expressed confidence in the commission's ability to conduct free and fair elections, citing successful by-elections and the 2014 special senatorial elections it has conducted successfully - for which the international community graded the Commission high.
For his part, Cllr. Korkoyah thanked President Sirleaf and government for the level of support given the National Elections Commission (NEC) although the country is experiencing financial crises.
He assured President Sirleaf of nothing less than free, fair and credible elections for all.
In remarks, Lighe thanked President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in him and assured her of nothing less than free, fair and transparent elections.