Since 2003, Liberians have abandoned bloody violence and subsequently embarked on the process of peace, reconciliation and participatory governance through democratic elections. The 2005 elections ushered in the first post-conflict leadership that has governed the country for nearly six years with much needed support from the international community and friendly governments.
In less than a decade, the country has gone through significant recovery stages that have brought social, economic and political transformations, affecting every fabric of life and enabling the oldest African independent state to retake its place among the comity of nations. Once again, Liberia is playing active roles in every world body whether at sub-regional, regional, continental or global level. These gains have been made possible primarily because of the current peace prevailing here.
But this country stands at the crossroads at the moment. About a month or so from now, Liberians will go to the poll for general and presidential elections to elect new leadership for the country. The manner in which we conduct ourselves during these elections will crucially determine whether or not, the gains achieved since 2003 will be solidified for greater political, social and economic successes.
The August 23, 2011 National Referendum was the first step toward the conduct of democratic elections. However, elections in themselves do not guarantee peace and stability as we have observed here and in neighboring countries. Whether you belong to the ruling party or the opposition bloc, we all should realize that peace and stability are two cardinal instruments needed to continue to exist as a nation and move on with development not only for ourselves, but our children, grand children and great grand children.
This is why we reiterate call for a peaceful campaign process, leading to the elections and even the post-election environment. If recent news of arms discovery here and there is anything to take cue from, then we should take the utmost care towards these elections in order to preserve the nation state.
Lest we should forget, there are thousands of investment partners here whose primary interest is the continuous stability of the country with a favorable economic environment where investments will continue to boom. And importantly, any government that will emerge from the polls whether ruling party or opposition bloc will rely on taxes from investors to deliver on campaign promises and provide social services to the people.
Since the 14-year civil conflict, Liberians have traveled abroad and returned with great investment ideas. Today, many citizens are competing with aliens on the local market – whether in used cars business, petroleum products, provision or grocery shops, more and more Liberians are venturing into entrepreneurship, which is good for our economy.
However, the basis for a strong and prosperous economic environment is security and political stability. The gateway to achieving these standards is through free, fair and credible elections that will leave no room for contention and subsequent violence.
We call on political party standard bearers and their followers to go through the electoral process with a high degree of maturity, placing Liberia above personal interest, greed and sentiment. We need the current peace prevailing in the country to build upon and advance with development and prosperity. He that has ears let him hear!!