By Lincoln G. Peters
Opposition presidential candidate Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has warned of devasting and unimaginable consequences if incumbent President George Manneh Weah rigs the presidential run-off election.
The former Unity Party (UP) standard bearer will be challenging Mr. Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on 14 November 2023, marking their second time meeting in a run-off.
They earlier battled in a presidential run-off in November 2017, but Mr. Weah won as an opposition leader at the time.
20 presidential candidates inclusive of Mr. Weah contested the 10 October 2023 polls, but none of them obtained the required 50 percent plus one vote to be declared a winner.
Mr. Weah and Amb. Boakai made it to the run-off with each obtaining a little over 43 percent of the total votes cast.
Ahead of Tuesday’s polls, Boakai addressed a press conference at his Paynesville residence Sunday, 12 November, warning that “Elections rigging will be devasting and unimagined against President George M. Weah.”
The former Liberian Vice President dared the ruling CDC to tamper with the votes, saying if the ruling party rigs the election, the consequences on President Weah will be devasting.
“We understand President George M. Weah and the CDC feeble strategy to desperately hold on to power. We dare Mr. Weah to tamper with our votes and rig these elections,” Boakai sounded a caveat.
Boakai said they are committed to protecting the Liberian people’s votes and permitting the will of the majority to prevail.
According to him, with the run-off elections scheduled for Tuesday, 14 November, it is becoming obvious that the only strategy left with President Weah and his CDC is to engage in fear mongering and in some cases vain attempts to eliminate strong opponents.
The former Liberian vice president complained that CDC wants to deter peaceful Liberians from turning out in their mass to vote against what he described as the “failed CDC government.”
The UP standard bearer indicated that these troubling patterns of disrupting, harassing and viciously attacking party leaders in an effort to assassinate or silence them, days to the runoff elections, are indicative of a government that has realized it will be defeated for its miserable failures.
“The Unity Party takes these frequent attacks seriously and we recall that during the first round of the elections, UP partisans were violently attacked on multiple occasions,” said Boakai.
“As a result of our commitment to the Farmington Declaration, we exercised utmost restraint to avoid undermining our fledgling democracy,” he pointed out.
“We have called on our partisans and sympathizers to remain calm as such unprovoked acts are intended to instil fear, divert our campaign, and frighten our people,” said Amb. Boakai.
He assured Liberians that the Unity Party Alliance will not surrender, adding that they will meet their foes with valor unpretending.