Liberians go to the polls on October 10th, exactly nine months from now in Presidential and General Elections to elect a new President and members of the Legislature or retain incumbent President George Manneh Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
The upcoming elections would be the second to be conducted by Liberians themselves since 1997. The 1979 Elections that brought jailed former President Charles Ghankay Taylor to power were conducted by the regional bloc, ECOWAS, while the former United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL spearheaded elections in 2005 and 2011 respectively.
The 2017 elections, perhaps the most enviable in recent history, was conducted under the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was on her way out, having completed two successful terms thus, ushering in the first peaceful transition from one democratically-elected President to another in more than 70 years.
Liberians have a lot to gain in terms of peace and respect how they conduct themselves now to October, and beyond in consolidating the democratic dividends of constitutional rule and stability.
Already, the National Elections Commission has released timetable for the conduct of biometric voter’s registration, which runs from 20th March to 19th April, in phase one while second phase is scheduled from 21st April to 11th May, 2023.
It is time for the NEC, incumbent President Weah and members of the opposition to prepare adequately ahead of the polls to avoid last minute’s mistakes that may have the propensity of reversing the hand of the clock.
Elections are democratic exercises and everything should be done by all sides to keep them so for the general good, for the best path is always the path of justice, peace and unity.
Politicians should tailor their messages, keeping in mind that they have a seared duty to keep the sanctity of the State they seek to govern, which happens to be the common patrimony.
Therefore, electorate should go beyond campaign T-shirts, banners and flyers to critically examine candidates and their messages in reaching a determination who to cast their votes for and entrust their future to for the next six years.
This would not be difficult if Liberia becomes the utmost objective for going to the polls other than selfish, narrow interests that soon melts away.