Liberia: Weah Defends Decision

20 November 2023

-As CDCians feel betrayed

President George Weah told members of his congregation on Sunday, November 19 that he is not an African President who hijacks elections that cause the death of many innocent people. "I won't be a part of it," he said to members and supporters that his defeat in the presidential runoff is a learning curve.

But some members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on Sunday expressed their dissatisfaction over the President's unilateral decision, saying it was a betrayer of the people's trust by conceding defeat before announcement of the final results. They argued that Mr. Weah should have at least informed them about his concession plans.

At a press conference on Sunday, members of the CDC alarmed fraud in the just ended presidential run-off and said that had the President consulted them they would have exhausted all the necessary avenues before making any concession. However, party Secretary General Koijee has advised supporters to accept the result and move on.

Mr. Weah telephoned former vice President Joseph Boakai of the opposition Unity Party on Friday to congratulate him following the National Elections Commission's announcement of 99.58 percent of the Tuesday, November 14 Presidential run-off result.

The president acknowledged that with 99.58 percent of results, President-elect Joseph N. Boakai of the opposition Unity Party (UP) had secured 814,212 of the votes amounting to 50.89%, while he had acquired 785,778 representing 49.11%.

In his concession speech later Friday night, Mr. Weah admitted that his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party had lost the election, but Liberia had won.

"The reason I congratulated Amb. Joseph Boakai is not about me; it is about Liberia. I told you once, I am not a politician, but an administrator, because if I were a politician, by now we are killing each other," the President stated earlier on Sunday.

However, his supporters and partisans differed with his concession and congratulatory message.

"We will not allow him to step his feet into this compound how can a sitting president concede defeat in the absence of final results this is a betrayal of the people's trust," CDCians who gathered at the party's Headquarters were heard saying.

But speaking to the angry CDCians, CDC Secretary General Jefferson Koijee who doubles as Monrovia City Mayor encouraged partisans to accept the result and move on.

Koijee at the news conference, instead encouraged partisans to maintain the peace and avoid spreading falsehood about any form of election rerun.

"Don't allow yourself to fall prey to these results. The quicker you accept it, the faster you will overcome it," Koijee added.

The president has spoken, and we his followers must listen and respect his decision. We have asked for an audience with him tomorrow and we expect every CDCian to come and listen to the president," he adds.

According to him, the issues the party has regarding the just ended runoff election have been communicated to the NEC, but they are awaiting the final pronouncement of the election results to inform their partisans on their next plan of action.

"Even though we have issues in Grand Gedeh, Nimba, and Grand Kru Counties, we will take a collective action as a party, and we urged you to remain calm and steadfast," Koijee added.

He, however, cautioned partisans to desist from deceiving themselves and the public about a rerun of the election, adding "If you think I'm about to give you false hope then I'm sorry because you will not hear that from me."

He said CDC has never fallen short of providing leadership to its members, saying anyone coming here should desist from making profane language about the results.

Koijee explained that President Weah's planned visit to the party headquarters is to have an open forum with partisans and supporters on the outcome and the next steps of the party.

The president's concession on Friday appears not to have gone down well with his partisans and supporters.

Earlier at the news conference, disenchanted partisans and supporters vowed to block the president's motorcade from entering the CDC headquarters on grounds that he (Weah) has jeopardized their future.

"We will not allow him to step his feet into this compound. How can a sitting president concede defeat in the absence of final results." They threatened.

Meanwhile, President Weah has cautioned Amb. Boakai to keep the peace, noting that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left the Peace with him and he kept the peace, and he (Boakai)b should keep the Peace.-Edited by Othello B. Gabrlah

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