Liberian electorate are bracing themselves for two important, but mutually exclusive events that are sure to become a center for discussion for the rest of the year or perhaps beyond. One of the events, Christmas, is an annual celebration that is globally observed by Christians around the world as the date of birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, while election, a totally different exercise, is purely politics.
But the back-to-back occurrence of the two events, the former historically characterized by festivities and the latter requiring deep sober decision making within 24 hours generate interest for discussion ahead of the poll, particularly given the heated legal battle that marred the results of the first round of polling.
The National Elections Commission or NEC Tuesday announced December 26, 2017 for the conduct of the runoff election between Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change.
The CDC is reportedly calling on its partisans to stay away from a festive Christmas in order to be ready for election the next day, December 26. We are also hearing though unconfirmed, that the ruling Unity Party is calling for the resignation of NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya before the runoff.
Whatever the case, Liberians would have to proceed cautiously in meeting tense two dates especially, the runoff poll to elect a new President, who is to be inaugurated in January as constitutionally required.
The reported call from the CDC should be taken in good fate, because we believe it would be realistically strenuous to come from day long festivities sometimes characterized by drinking alcoholic beverages, which could run to the next day and still maintain physical and mental balance to go to the ballot box to elect a President. This does not in any way imply that all Liberians are drunks.
However, it is important that we as Liberians go to the runoff with sober minds that would enable us to come out with a decision that we can truly call ours. This means celebrating Christmas with deep reflection for the task ahead the next day, in this case, electing the next President of Liberia.
Christmas globally is an annual event, unlike election for the Presidency, which in line with the Constitution of Liberia, must be conducted after every six years. And this is where we are as Liberians.
We should not move from the former to the latter with the festive mood of the day before bearing in mind we would have to live with whatever decision that will be made on December 26 for the next six years. This is why it is very important that we do so with sober concentration void of any emotional influence.
Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a manner befitting true Christian values and tradition would propel us all to go to the ballot box the next day, seeking his guidance for direction in making our choice for President.