By Lincoln G. Peters
The Ministry of National Defense (MoD) and the Armed Force of Liberia (AFL) have sounded a very strong caveat to the public concerning their roles and responsibilities leading to the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
The defense authorities stated Thursday, 8 September 2022 at a press conference that they will never sit and watch the country’s democracy derail.
Defense Minister Daniel Dee Zlankhan said the AFL will play an independent role as it did during the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, warning that it will not sit back and watch the country’s democracy derail.
“We will not sit back and allow our democracy to be derailed. We will not allow anyone to vandalize what we call the military’s critical infrastructure, like the airport, Central Bank, hydro, and other critical areas,” said Minister Ziankahn.
The retired army Maj. Gen. said the Armed Forces of Liberia will be standing back to fully support the civilian authorities.
“That is, we will not be the full runner, but the police and other security apparatuses that will be charged with that authority to guide our election, but we will move in whenever we are called upon,’’ he said.
According to Minister Ziankahan, when they are called upon during the 2023 elections to provide support, they will definitely move in, disclosing that they will be more than ready to come in.
He stated that even though it’s true that they will not be in charge of the elections process, he can assure the public that the military will not sit and allow the critical infrastructure of the country and its democracy to derail.
“As relates to the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, it’s very critical,” he stressed.
Minister Ziankahn noted that everybody knows that the elections are a critical one and so there have been questions about what will be the role of the AFL during the elections.
He said the army will prepare for the 2023 presidential election, but it’s the shared responsibility of everyone and all stakeholders, most especially politicians, to teach their followers about the maintenance of the peace of Liberia. –Edited by Winston W. Parley