24 October 2017

Liberia: U.S. Embassy Statement on Liberia's Electoral Process

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Ambassador Christine Elder

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia was inspired by 1.5 million Liberians who expressed their commitment to and faith in democracy by voting in the October 10 elections. The U.S. Embassy underscores the importance of a peaceful transfer of power to a new democratically-elected president in January, as reflected in Liberia's Constitution.

The U.S. Embassy has confidence in the integrity of the October elections. No accredited Liberian, regional, or international observation group suggested [link] that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process. Where issues were identified in the first round of voting, we urge the National Elections Commission (NEC) to undertake corrective actions before, during, and after the runoff election. The U.S. Embassy urges the top two finishers, who collectively received the support of two-thirds of Liberian voters, to focus on constructively engaging each other and voters as they prepare to compete in the runoff.

We appreciate that parties are availing themselves of the legal right to dispute resolution. We note, however, that with rights come responsibilities. Disputes and litigation should be initiated and conducted in good faith by the claimants, the NEC, and if needed, the Supreme Court, in an expeditious manner to permit the timely conclusion of Liberia's electoral process and a peaceful transition.

Liberia's political leaders should take their cue from the citizens who waited patiently to vote and did so with respect for their fellow citizens, regardless of political views. Efforts by any actors to impede the expressed will of Liberia's people for personal ambition could risk goodwill and future investments in Liberia by international partners. The Liberian people and the international community have worked too hard and invested too much to watch Liberia's progress stall. The United States remains committed to Liberia's future and encourages Liberians to conclude the presidential electoral process as soon as possible to allow Liberia's democratic and economic progress to continue.

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