13 November 2017

Liberia: 'Avoid Undue Delay'

The African Union Liaison Office in Liberia (AULOL), Office of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has called for expeditious adjudication of the on-going election disputes at the National Elections Commission (NEC.)

In a joint statement over the weekend, AULOL, ECOWAS and UNMIL said without prejudice to the decisions of the National Elections Commission and the Supreme Court, as bodies vested with the legal and constitutional authority to adjudicate such matters, "we call upon all parties to deal with the electoral process in a sincere, responsible and professional manner and vigorously work towards early completion of the on-going legal petitions and motions, so as to enable its conclusion without undue delay."

The three world bodies said while they support and encourage the due process followed by the aggrieved parties, NEC and the Supreme Court, however, they expressed concern over the prospects of a significant delay in bringing the litigations to closure, thereby thwarting completion of the election process before the constitutionally-mandated date of government transition in January 2018.

In pursuit of efforts to facilitate a peaceful transition, they called on all parties and stakeholders to exercise restraint, uphold the rule of law and conduct all activities with civility and in a non-violent manner, including in their public discourse.

They reminded all political parties of their firm commitment to promote a violence-free election, as expressed in their Farmington River Declaration of 4 June 2017, and as reiterated by their various recent public statements.

In the statement, AU, ECOWAS and UNMIL pointed out that the conduct of peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections is a prerequisite for democratic consolidation, sustainable peace and development in Liberia.

"It is our fervent hope, therefore, that all stakeholders will remain productively committed to a historic and peaceful transition and that the collective will and aspirations of the Liberian people will not be compromised for individual ambitions," the statement noted, stressing that allegiance to Liberia must remain the common denominator for sustaining peace and the pursuit of development.

They then expressed confidence that the people of Liberia will continue to remain enthusiastically engaged with the electoral process and strive to deliver a successful example of collective national victory, in the interest of all Liberians, the region and the continent at large.

"Finally, we wish to make it clear that the destiny of Liberia and its peace and development trajectory remain the responsibility of all Liberians, while the International Community will continue to facilitate any possible assistance that may be deemed necessary to fast-track the country's development beyond the elections," they said in the statement.


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