Liberia: U.S. Wants Boakai, Weah to Focus On Runoff

Ambassador Christine Elder

The United States Government, through its Embassy accredited near Monrovia says it has confidence in the integrity of the hotly contested October 10 presidential and representatives elections--indicating that no accredited Liberian, regional, or international observation group suggested that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process. The US Government's statement is in reference to the ongoing allegation of fraud and irregularities which the Liberty Party is contesting with the NEC.

The Liberty Party and its collaborating counterparts have said that their protest of the October 10 presidential and representative elections are meant to establish that the outcomes do not reflect the will of the Liberian people, blaming few unscrupulous highly placed individuals for wanting to impose their will on the Liberian populace.

The US Government, in a statement issued in Monrovia yesterday, underscored the importance of a peaceful transfer of power to a new democratically-elected president in January, as reflected in Liberian Constitution.

Though the LP and its collaborating parties are exercising their rights by pursuing legal recourse as with the ongoing legal tussle with the National Elections Commission (NEC), the US government noted that rights come with responsibilities.

"We note, however, that with rights come responsibilities," the statement said. "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, the statement noted, should take their cue from citizens who waited patiently to vote and did so with respect for their fellow citizens, regardless of their political views.

It said efforts by any actor to impede the expressed will of Liberians 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," it said.

The United States, it said, remains committed to Liberia's future and encourage Liberians to conclude the presidential electoral process as soon as possible to allow Liberia's democratic and economic progress to continue.

"The US 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 release said.

The US said 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 Embassy urged the top two finishers, the ruling Unity Party VP Joseph Nyuma Boakai and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Senator George Weah 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.

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