By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia Democracy Watch (LDW) has urged the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the opposition Unity Party (UP) to commit to maintaining Liberia’s peace and democracy.
The group has challenged the two rival political parties to embrace the spirit of unity and diversity during and after the presidential run-off scheduled for Tuesday, 14 November 2023.
LDW Executive Director Mustapha N. Kanneh told a press conference in Monrovia on Thursday, 9 November 2023 that it’s important that both parties sensitize their supporters about the sustainability of Liberia’s peace and democracy.
According to him, results from the 10 October polls showed that no presidential candidate was able to obtain 50 percent plus one vote to be declared winner on the first ballot as stipulated by the Liberian electoral law.
He said this has forced the election to metamorphose into a run-off between the two candidates with the highest percentage of votes cast in the first round, namely President George Manneh Weah of CDC, and Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of UP.
“As we move forward to the run-off election, the LDW urges … both candidates to commit to peace by embracing the spirit of unity in diversity and refrain their supporters from all forms of electoral violence during and after the process,” said Kanneh.
He also urged them to respect the will of the Liberian electorate as would be expressed on their ballot papers in the run-off.
Mr. Kanneh extended congratulations to all those elected as leaders at the just-ended October polls.
He forewarned the newly elected representatives and senators to serve well with diligence, dignity, and integrity, and avoid the trappings of the past including bad governance, nepotism, tribalism, corruption, and impunity.
“LDW urges them to foster good governance, restore the rule of law, and yield to the cry of the Liberian people for justice,” Mr. Kanneh pleaded.
He urged elected officials to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report accompanied by the ultimate establishment of a war and economic crimes court to put an end to impunity here.
Additionally, LDW thanked the National Elections Commission (NEC) for its efforts in conducting the election peacefully thus far, despite the enormous challenges, complaints, and discrepancies it faced throughout the electoral process.
The Human Rights activist also extolled international and local stakeholders and observer missions for their solidarity, support, and tireless efforts in ensuring that the first round of the elections was successfully conducted peacefully.
At the same time, Mr. Kanneh appreciated the Liberian people for their massive turnout during the first phase of the elections, urging them to continue the march for democracy and good governance.
” Fellow Liberians, the Liberia Democratic Watch (LDW) as one of the leading warden institutions for democracy in Liberia, expresses thanks and appreciation to the Liberian people for their resilience and the peaceful conduct of the polls,” he continued.
He appreciated Liberians’ resilience despite delays, long queues, and lingering threats of violence, and temptations of lawlessness throughout the process.
“We acknowledge their hard work, dedication, and contribution to assisting Liberia in upholding democratic principles and look forward to working with them to further strengthen and promote democracy in Liberia,” he added.