5 December 2017

Liberia: Boakai, Weah Dialogue Proposed

The President of the Better Future Foundation (BFF), Augustine Arkoi, has observed that the Liberian nation lacks the necessary capacity to adequately handle the aftermaths or repercussions of the rerun of the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections.

According to Mr. Arkoi, such rerun elections would be embedded with highly conflict sensitive issues which may be intractable to resolved, especially when the outcome of the October polls is entirely annulled.

Giving an early warning statement through a local radio station, Truth FM, recently in Monrovia, Mr. Arkoi who is also a civil society leader pointed out that to conduct any election rerun, it should be prudently established as to whose faults/shortcomings that may have prompted such rerun polls and to determine anyone or group bearing the accompanying financial responsibility for said fresh elections.

Mr. Arkoi: "If the election of those who contested for Representative seats in the Lower House of the Legislature from the 73 districts of the country and were declared either winners or losers by NEC in the October polls is annulled not based on their individual faults, but the failure on the part of NEC to act within the perimeters of Liberia's electoral law, who will underwrite the associated cost for the participation of both the declared losers and winners in any rerun election?"

At the same time, the BFF President spoke in favor of a runoff election which he said is manageable, as none of the 20 presidential candidates obtained the constitutional requirement of 50 %plus one of the total valid votes cast in the October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

While cautioning Liberians to exercise patience as grievances arising from the October 10, 2017 polls are being addressed by the appropriate legal authorities including the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Court of Liberia, Mr. Arkoi called on his compatriots to refrain from using hate speech and other negative innuendos against perceived political opponents including George Manneh Weah and Joseph Nyumah Boakai, political leaders of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Unity Party (UP) respectively.

According to the BFF President who, during the radio talk-show, spoke on the Thematic Issue: "The Way Forward for the October 10, 2017 Elections" both Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Senator George Manneh Weah are the embodiments and reflections of the aspirations of the contemporary Liberian society inclusive of all classes whether educated, uneducated, rich or poor, among others.

Mr. Arkoi emphasized that Weah and Boakai are also two of the providential political figures that Liberians must relate to in good faith if the country is to actualize the much-needed political and democratic transition and reconciliation.

The BFF President described Vice president Joseph Boakai as the embodiment of the older generation of Liberians whose indelible positive characters and contributions are uncommon in the Liberian nation.

On the other hand, Mr. Arkoi told the forum that Senator George Weah represents the aspirations of the younger generation and their desire for generational change and political renaissance in the country.

Mr. Arkoi however cautioned that the desire and advocacy for generational change in Liberia should be characterized by mutual respect, love and most importantly, appreciation for both the younger and older generations for the peace and stability of the country and in the best interest of all.

The BFF President therefore called on both VP Joseph Boakai and Senator George Weah to engage in healthy dialogues before, during, and after the national elections so as to strengthen and enhance much-needed confidence and trust between and among their respective followers for subsequent acceptance of the election results and the peaceful governance of the country.

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